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Keynote Speaker

Seventh Annual Swarm Researchers Meeting

John H. Holland
Professor
Computer Science and Engineering
Cognitive Psychology
University of Michigan

Challenges for Agent-based Modeling
9:00 - 10:00 am
April 14, 2003

McKenna Hall
Notre Dame, IN

The advent of Swarm, along with other agent-based modeling techniques, has opened up a set of problems unapproachable by traditional equation-based modeling:

(1) Can we produce an existence-proof model, akin to von Neumann's model of self-reproduction, that exhibits open-ended evolution, with increasing diversity and complexity?

(2) Can we model the complex 'circuitry' of biological cells in ways that suggest useful interventions, such as elucidating the relation between a non-aggressive Gleason 3 prostate cancer and a metastasizing Gleason 4 cancer?

(3) Can we build models that replace food webs ('who-eats-whom') with networks that take into account the indirect effects on behavior induced by cross-species signaling, as in the case of phenotypic plasticity?

(4) Can we produce a proof-of-principle, agent-based model of language-acquisition demonstrating that signaling (say between mother and offspring), under familiar cognitive mechanisms, is adequate for the acquisition of grammar, without an innate ('wired-in') grammar template.

Well-formulated models aimed at these challenges should substantially advance our understanding in the corresponding disciplines, whether the results are positive or negative.

Links to information about John Holland and his work:

John Holland on his recent trip to China (2003).

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