The Second Complex Systems Patterns Workshop was held as a special session of the Second Australian Conference on Artificial Life (ACAL) in Sydney, Australia, December 2005.

Summary and Review

There were 15 attendees of varying backgrounds.  Most were computational modelers who wrote their own software models, with only a few identifying their modeling approach as complex systems.


The motivation to use patterns in modeling was successfully conveyed.  Some individuals were very keen on the idea of the patterns approach and wanted to see patterns for various modeling tasks.  The motivation to write the patterns was not accepted as readily.

The following anecdotes were reported:

  • random number generators / seeds
  • log-log plot of sparse data misleading
  • misleading smooth graphs when there is no good solution
  • reference pointers in EC generations
  • certain time/space grids easy to misinterpret
  • simulations not running in a realistic amount of time

Desired patterns:

  • general complexity measures
  • visualization patterns
    • spring algorithm

Recommended modeling packages

  • Echo Lab (C++)
  • GEOMI (Java)
  • DDLab
  • Net Logo
  • RePast
  • UNURAN (C)

Future Workshop Locations

The audience demographic at ACAL’05 seemed to be ideal for such a workshop, with a mixture of students and researchers attending.  Future Artificial Life and Complex Systems conferences would be appropriate for further workshops (e.g., CEC, ACAL’07, ALife XI).