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Thu, 12 May 2016 12:29:32 +0200
"ACM SIGCHI General Interest Announcements (Mailing List)" <[log in to unmask]>
Michael Matscheko <[log in to unmask]>
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Workshop on: Collective Adaptation in Very Large Scale Ubicomp: 
Towards a Superorganism of Wearables 


Workshop at Ubicomp 2016: September 12, 2016

- Submission Deadline: June 7th, 2016
- Notification of Acceptance: June 21st, 2016
- Camera Ready Version: June 28th, 2016
- Workshop website:

Full CfP PDF:


The 3rd workshop (after the 2014 WS in Seattle and the 2015 WS in Osaka) 
asks questions  on the potential and opportunities  of turning massively 
deployed   wearable  systems  to   a  globe-spanning  superorganism   of 
socially  interactive  personal  digital  assistants.  While  individual 
wearables   are   of   heterogeneous   provenance   and   typically  act 
autonomously, it stands to reason that they can (and will) self-organize 
into  large scale  cooperative collectives,  with  humans  being  mostly 
out-of-the-loop.  A common objective  or central controller  may thereby 
not be assumed,  but rather volatile  network topologies,  co-dependence 
and internal competition,  non-linear  and non-continuous dynamics,  and 
sub-ideal,  failure-prone operation.  We refer to these emerging massive 
collectives  of  wearables  as a  "superorganism",  since  they  exhibit 
properties of a living organism (like e.g. 'collective intelligence') on 
their  own.  One  essential  aspect  of such  globe-spanning  collective 
ensembles is  that they often exhibit  properties typically observed  in 
complex systems,  like  (i) spontaneous,  dynamic network configuration, 
with  (ii) individual nodes acting in parallel,  (iii) constantly acting 
and reacting  to what  the other agents  are doing,  and  (iv) where the 
control tends  to be highly dispersed and decentralized.  If there is to 
be  any  coherent  behavior  in  the system,  it  (v) has to arise  from 
competition and cooperation  among  the individual nodes,  so  that  the 
overall  behavior  of  the system  is  the result  of  a huge number  of 
decisions made every moment by many individual entities. 

In order to properly exploit such superorganisms, this workshop concerns 
itself with the development  of a deeper scientific understanding of the 
foundational principles by which they operate. To this end, the workshop 
attempts to address the following foundational research concerns: 

- Understanding the trade-offs between the power of top-down (by design) 
adaptation means and bottom-up (by emergence) ones, also by studying how 
the two approaches co-exist in modern wearable ICT systems, and possibly 
contributing to smoothing the tension between the two approaches. 

- Understanding  the   "power  of  the  masses"   principle  as  far  as 
participatory wearable ICT processes are involved.  In particular,  this 
implies understanding how and to what extent even very simple collective 
phenomena and algorithms  - when involving billions of wearables  -  can 
express   forms  of  intelligence   much  superior  than  that  of  more 
traditional AI techniques. 

- Understanding  the issue  of  diversity  and  of diversity increase in 
complex systems  and  in  service/data  systems  and  how  diversity  of 
structure  and  behavior  is  currently  accommodated  in  wearable  ICT 
systems.  As of now, most studies focus on a limited number of different 
classes,  which is  far from  approximating  the  diversity of  existing 

- Laying down new foundations for the modelling of large-scale Human-ICT 
organisms  and  their adaptive behaviors,  also  including lessons  from 
applied psychology, sociology, and social anthropology,  other than from 
systemic biology, ecology and complexity science. 

- Identifying models and tools by which individual organs of the systems 
can influence  and direct "by design"  the emergent adaptive behavior of 
the whole system, or at least of substantial parts of it. 

Further, the workshop attempts to address the following systems research 

- Opportunistic information collection:  Systems  need  to  be  able  to 
function in complex,  dynamic environments  where they have to deal with 
unpredictable  changes   in  available  infrastructures   and  learn  to 
cooperate with other systems and human beings  in complex self-organized 
- Collaborative Reasoning and Emergent Effects:  Reasoning  methods  and 
system models  are needed  that combine  machine learning  methods  with 
complexity theory to account for global emergent effects  resulting from 
feedback loops between  collaborative,  interconnected devices and their 

- Social Awareness:  Whereas today's  context-aware systems  are able to 
make  sense  of  the  activity  of  single  users  and  their  immediate 
environment,  future systems  should be able to analyze,  understand and 
predict  complex  social  phenomena  on  a broad range  of  spatial  and 
temporal scales. Examples of the derived information could be: shifts in 
collective opinions and social attitudes,  changes in consumer behavior, 
the emergence  of  tensions  in  communities,  demographics,  migration, 
mobility patterns, or health trends. 

Regular paper submissions  must  present  original,  highly  innovative, 
prospective  and forward-looking research  in one or more  of the themes 
given above.  Full papers  must break  new ground,  present new insight, 
deliver  a  significant  research  contribution  and  provide  validated 
support  for  its  results   and  conclusions.   The  workshop  solicits
(i) conceptual papers  describing  proposals  for  novel  methodologies,
theories and principles  that might be used in order to design,  develop
and  build,  analyse  and  operate  massive  collectives  of  wearables,
(ii) observational,  epistemological  and user  study papers  to deliver
evidence  for  possible  future scenarios,  and  emerging platforms  and 
technologies  as  well  as   (iii) system-development  papers  proposing 
ingenious, novel HW/SW platforms. 

Suggested topics include (but are not limited to)
- Novel complex adaptive system theories and operational principles.
- Novel design principles for building complex adaptive systems.
- Insights  into  evolutionary  and  emergent  complex  adaptive  system 
- Methodologies, Models, Algorithms, Frameworks  and Tools for studying, 
  analyzing and building complex adaptive systems.
- Case-studies / very large scale scenarios  that can serve as reference 
  case for future superorganisms of collective wearables. 

Each paper  must be submitted  as a  single PDF file  in SIGCHI Extended 
Abstract format (not longer than six pages in length) using the OpenConf 
workshop  paper  submission  system  on  the workshop webpage.  The best 
workshop  contributions  will be invited  to be included  in an upcoming 
Special Issue  of the International Journal  of Pervasive Computing  and 
Communications (IJPCC).  Submissions to this workshop  must not be under 
review by any other conference or publication during the workshop review 
cycle,  and must not be previously published or accepted for publication 

The selection of workshop participants will be carried out by means of a 
peer review process.  To guarantee fair decisions,  experts from related 
research fields  will  serve  as reviewers.  Submissions need  not to be 
anonymous,  however  reviews  will be  realized  anonymously  using  the 
evaluation form provided  by the submission system.  Please refer to the 
paper submission link  at the workshop website.  Questions  about papers 
and late submissions should be directed to [log in to unmask] 

The workshop proceedings  will be published  in the printed UbiComp 2016 
adjunct proceedings.

- Alois Ferscha (University of Linz, Austria)
- Paul Lukowicz (DFKI, Germany)
- Franco Zambonelli (Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy)

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