Conference on Complex Systems 23-28 September 2018, Thessaloniki, Greece

CCS2018 is the flagship conference on Complex Systems promoted by the CSS. It brings under one umbrella a wide variety of leading researchers, practitioners and stakeholders with a direct interest in Complex Systems, from Physics to Computer Science, Biology, Social Sciences, Economics, and Technological and Communication Networks, among others.

We are looking forward to seeing the best of your new insights in Complex Systems at the Conference on Complex Systems 2018, in Thessaloniki, Greece, to be held from 23 to 28 September 2018.

Topics covered by the Conference include, but are not limited to:

Main Tracks

1.    Foundations of Complex Systems (complex networks, self-organization, nonlinear dynamics, statistical physics, mathematical modeling and simulation)
2.    Information and Communication Technologies (Internet, WWW, search, semantic web, Blockchain, Bitcoins)
3.    Cognition and Linguistics (evolution of language, social consensus, artificial intelligence, cognitive processes)
4.    Economics and Finance (social networks, game theory, stock market and crises)
5.    Infrastructure, Planning and Environment (critical infrastructures, urban planning, mobility, transport and energy, Smart Cities)
6.    Biological and (Bio)Medical Complexity (biological networks, systems biology, evolution, natural science, medicine and physiology)
7.    Socio-Ecological Systems (SES) (global environmental change, green growth, sustainability and resilience)
8.    Complexity in Physics and Chemistry
9.    Other applications of Complex Systems


We invite you to submit a one-page abstract until the 30th of April 2018, via our EasyChair submission link: EasyChair

Abstract Submission Guidelines

Easychair will be used for all procedures

  1. Log in to using an existing account.
  2. If you do not have an account, you can easily sign up.
  3. Click on the submission link (see below).
  4. Log in to the conference as an author, and proceed with uploading your paper at the top left corner by clicking “New Submission”
  5. Follow the instructions easy chair provides you and fill in all the necessary details.
  6. Submit.

Submission link:

We accept contributed talks (regular and lightning talks) and posters. Please indicate your preference for one of the following categories to present your research:

  • Regular talk
  • Poster submission
  • Lightning talk


Oral Presentations
The allocated time for each oral presentations is 15  minutes, which total time for presentation +questions (12 min + 3 min). There is a tight schedule and it is important that each presenter stay within this time limit. Presenters will have access to a laptop with LCD projector and a laser pointer. Please, bring your presentation to the meeting on a USB flash drive to load on the in-room laptops. You should load your presentation on one of the conference laptops before the first session, during the coffee breaks, or during lunch preceding your presentation. A support staff member will be in each room to assist with the loading.

Poster Presentations
For each poster, display boards will be allocated. The poster area will open 30 minutes before each poster sessions begins each day. It is advisable to hang the posters sometime before 9:00 a.m. the day of the respective session. Posters will need to be taken down by the end of the day of each session. Presenters will be required to be next to their posters during specific time slots. Poster dimensions: 90 x 120 cm.

Lightning (Ignite) presentations
A few oral talks will be presented in the “ignite” mode. Such talks should present a single, new, key idea of the problem at hand, rather than give complete and detailed results of a research project. Thus, the allocated time will be 3 minutes. No questions/answers will be allowed. Each ignite talk should have no more than 3 slides.  All presentations should be loaded to the room laptop before the beginning of the session. Please see the support staff member of the room to assist you with the loading.

Important dates:

Deadline for abstract submission: 30 Apr 2018

Notification to authors: 1 June 2018.

Dates of the Conference: 23-28 September 2018.

Dates of satellite meetings: 26-27 September 2018.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Complexity and Philosophy

Complexity and Philosophy

The science of complexity is based on a new way of thinking that stands in sharp contrast to the philosophy underlying Newtonian science, which is based on reductionism, determinism, and objective knowledge. This paper reviews the historical development of this new world view, focusing on its philosophical foundations. Determinism was challenged by quantum mechanics and chaos theory. Systems theory replaced reductionism by a scientifically based holism. Cybernetics and postmodern social science showed that knowledge is intrinsically subjective. These developments are being integrated under the header of “complexity science”. Its central paradigm is the multi-agent system. Agents are intrinsically subjective and uncertain about their environment and future, but out of their local interactions, a global organization emerges. Although different philosophers, and in particular the postmodernists, have voiced similar ideas, the paradigm of complexity still needs to be fully assimilated by philosophy. This will throw a new light on old philosophical issues such as relativism, ethics and the role of the subject.

Full pdf available free at headline link.

Contextuality: A Philosophical Paradigm, with Applications to Philosophy of Cognitive Science – Cogprints

Contextuality: A Philosophical Paradigm, with Applications to Philosophy of Cognitive Science

 Gershenson, C (2002) Contextuality: A Philosophical Paradigm, with Applications to Philosophy of Cognitive Science.[Departmental Technical Report] (Unpublished)

Full text available as:

[img] PDF 


We develop on the idea that everything is related, inside, and therefore determined by a context. This stance, which at first might seem obvious, has several important consequences. This paper first presents ideas on Contextuality, for then applying them to problems in philosophy of cognitive science. Because of space limitations, for the second part we will assume that the reader is familiar with the literature of philosophy of cognitive science, but if this is not the case, it would not be a limitation for understanding the main ideas of this paper. We do not argue that Contextuality is a panaceic answer for explaining everything, but we do argue that everything is inside a context. And because this is always, we sometimes ignore it, but we believe that many problems are dissolved with a contextual approach, noticing things we ignore because of their obviousity. We first give a notion of context. We present the idea that errors are just incongruencies inside a context. We also present previous ideas of absolute being, relative being, and lessincompleteness. We state that all logics, and also truth judgements, are contextdependent, and we develop a “Context-dependant Logic”. We apply ideas of Contextuality to problems in semantics, the problem of “where is the mind”, and the study of consciousness.

[nlin/0402023] How can we think the complex?

How can we think the complex?

Carlos Gershenson, Francis Heylighen (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

(Submitted on 16 Feb 2004 (v1), last revised 1 Jun 2004 (this version, v2))

This chapter does not deal with specific tools and techniques for managing complex systems, but proposes some basic concepts that help us to think and speak about complexity. We review classical thinking and its intrinsic drawbacks when dealing with complexity. We then show how complexity forces us to build models with indeterminacy and unpredictability. However, we can still deal with the problems created in this way by being adaptive, and profiting from a complex system’s capability for selforganization, and the distributed intelligence this may produce.

Full pdf available through headline link

[1105.2827] The Implications of Interactions for Science and Philosophy

The Implications of Interactions for Science and Philosophy

Carlos Gershenson
Computer Sciences Department,
Instituto de Investigaciones en Matem´aticas Aplicadas y en Sistemas
Universidad Nacional Aut´onoma de M´exico

May 17, 2011

Reductionism has dominated science and philosophy for centuries. Complexity has recently shown that interactions—which  reductionism neglects—are relevant for understanding
phenomena. When interactions are considered, reductionism becomes limited in several aspects. In this paper, I argue that interactions imply non-reductionism, non-materialism, non-predictability, non-Platonism, and non-nihilism. As alternatives
to each of these, holism, informism, adaptation, contextuality, and meaningfulness are put forward, respectively. A worldview that includes interactions not only describes better our world, but can help to solve many open scientific, philosophical, and social problems caused by implications of reductionism.

(full pdf available free at headline link)

Carlos Gershenson – editor of Complexity Digest

Since it’s a good source – especially recently – I took a look at the person behind Complexity Digest ( – and often drawn from the open-contribution, curated at Though there’s a storied history, going back to Dr Gottfried Mayer (see, Carlos Gershenon, the current editor, is an interesting chap doing some interesting work (headline link and below):

Carlos Gershenon

I am a tenured research professor at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. I have a broad variety of academic interests, including self-organizing systems, complexity, artificial life, information, evolution, cognition, artificial societies, and philosophy. I am a tenured full-time research professor (investigador titular), leader of the Self-organizing Systems Lab, and was head(2012-2015) of the Computer Sciences Department of the Instituto de Investigaciones en Matemáticas Aplicadas y en Sistemas(IIMAS) of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). I am also a researcher associated to the Centro de Ciencias de la Complejidad (C3) of the UNAM.

I am now on a sabbatical year as a visiting professor at SENSEable City LabMIT, and at MOBS Lab in Northeastern.

I am Editor-in-Chief of Complexity Digest and Complexity-at-Large Editor of Complexity. I am Council Member of the Complex Systems Society.

I did a PhD on “Design and Control of Self-organizing Systems” at the Center Leo Apostel for Interdisciplinary Studies of the Dutch-speaking Free University of Brussels. My promoters were Francis Heylighen, Diederik Aerts, and Bart D’Hooghe. Afterwards I did a postdoc at the New England Complex Systems Institute with Yaneer Bar-Yam. My homepage from that period is here.

I studied the MSc in Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems in the School of Cognitive and Computer Sciences (COGS) of the University of Sussex (2001-2002). My thesis “A Comparison of Different Cognitive Paradigms Using Simple Animats in a Virtual Laboratory, with Implications to the Notion of Cognition” was supervised by Chris Thornton and Inman Harvey. You can find my webpage from that period here.

Before that, I did a BEng in Computer Engineering at the Fundación Arturo Rosenblueth in Mexico City (1996-2001), from which my thesis was “Artificial Societies of Intelligent Agents”. My advisors were José Negrete MartínezPedro Pablo González Pérez, and Jaime Lagunez Otero. During this period I also collaborated with Jaime Lagunez’s group at the Instituto de QuímicaUNAM and coursed five semesters of Philosophy at the Facultad de Filosofía y LetrasUNAM. My webpage from my undergraduate years can be found hereLos Hijos de Khärlyl You will find most of my scientific and philosophical work, papers, computer programs, and art of those times (1997-2001).

A bit more about me.


he has also written or co-authored some papers which look interesting enough that I’m going to list them separately:

What are the most suitable approaches for thinking and speaking about complex systems?


Evolving Ecosystems: Inheritance and Selection in the Light of the Microbiome – Complexity Digest

I can’t find a free source for this article, so have linked to the Complexity Digest piece – this and the recentre three articles are from that excellent resource.

Evolving Ecosystems: Inheritance and Selection in the Light of the Microbiome

The importance of microorganisms in human biology is undeniable. The amount of research that supports that microbes have a fundamental role in animal and plant physiology is substantial and increasing every year. Even though we are only beginning to comprehend the broadness and complexity of microbial communities, evolutionary theories need to be recast in the light of such discoveries to fully understand and incorporate the role of microbes in our evolution. Fundamental evolutionary concepts such as diversity, heredity, selection, speciation, etc., which constitute the modern synthesis, are now being challenged, or at least expanded, by the emerging notion of the holobiont, which defines the genetic and metabolic networks of the host and its microbes as a single evolutionary unit. Several concepts originally developed to study ecosystems, can be used to understand the physiology and evolution of such complex systems that constitute “individuals.” In this review, we discuss these ecological concepts and also provide examples that range from squids, insects and koalas to other mammals and humans, suggesting that microorganisms have a fundamental role not only in physiology but also in evolution. Current evolutionary theories need to take into account the dynamics and interconnectedness of the host-microbiome network, as animals and plants not only owe their symbiogenetic origin to microbes, but also share a long evolutionary history together.


Evolving Ecosystems: Inheritance and Selection in the Light of the Microbiome

Santiago Sandoval-Motta, Maximino Aldana, Alejandro Frank

Archives of Medical Research