CFP: CAAC --- Computational Architectures for Animal Cognition

Programme for the symposium, on afternoon of April 21st, 2017.

13:30 Malte Schilling,
   Bielefeld University
Old Actions in Novel Contexts --- a Cognitive Architecture
    for Safe  Explorative Action Selection
 14:00Joah R. Madden,
   Exeter University
Individual differences in cognitive performance as a consequence of
    natural selection, constraints and trade-offs
 14:30Joanna J. Bryson,
    University of Bath
Dominance, Fitness, Social Structure and Ecology:
    Reconciling Several Popular Models

( 15:00 )
 --- coffee break (or tea, of course) ---

15:30Alex J. H. Fedorec, and Joanna J. Bryson,
    University College London, and
    University of Bath
 Modelling Information Acquisition and its Impact on Social Structure
 16:00Chris MacNeil and David C. Moffat,
    Glasgow Caledonian University
Using agent based modelling techniques to investigate
    the effectiveness of the honeybee Waggle dance
 16:30Joel Parthemore,
    University of Skövde, Sweden
On confusing the model with the modeled:
    Logical traps in the understanding of non-human cognition

The paper by Mohammad Majid al-Rifaie was listed earlier, but has unfortunately had to be withdrawn, due to personal reasons.

Call for Papers --- deadline for submissions (extended):   6th March, 2017

AISB 2017
Annual Convention of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (SSAISB).
University of Bath, UK.
18-21 April, 2017.

This year the AISB Convention theme is:   Society and AI

Animal behaviour has been studied by zoologists for longer than AI has existed as a research field; going all the way back to Darwin. While AI has been inspired by the intelligence of animals, developing important new algorithms (like ACO and ABC), it has not yet contributed equally back to biology. This symposium aims to explore the potential for cross-disciplinary work to develop a new application domain for AI techniques and philosophy, in the world of biology.
We seek papers from biologists, ethologists, comparative psychologists, developmental psychologists, cognitive scientists and AI researchers, and philosophers of science.

Biologists are well aware of the power of computer science to aid their research in genetics with combinatorial analysis, and in molecular biology, with the new field of "computational biology", but this symposium aims rather to apply computational models to simulate biological organisms in their environments, but with a focus on cognition.
Where Cognitive Science is concerned predominantly with human cognition, there remains a gap for animal cognition.
This is partly a result of the long overhang of behaviourism, and a reluctance to run the risk of being accused of naive "anthropomorphism."
It is time to reassess such preoccupations and worries.

Recent developments in animal behaviour research are ripe for computational explication and rigour.
At the same time, AI has been developing better agents models, such as in robotics and MAS (multi-agent systems).
These are not related to animal cognition, although some do take into account the need to interact with humans.
In AI and cognitive science, there are models of cognitive components of animal behaviours; but they ultimately need to be embedded into a larger architecture for multiple behaviours.

AISB's convention theme is Society and AI, and submissions that reflect concerns with animal welfare or new directions for computational modeling which may explore the similarities and distinctions of animal and human cognition are encouraged.

This symposium thus invites contributions with topics such as the following (in which "animals" are taken to be non-human) :-

  • computational models of (non-human) animal cognition and behaviour.
  • comparisons between models of lower and higher order animals.
  • methodologies to evaluate and compare models of animal behaviour.
  • models of non-human rationality, and of cognitive biases.
  • can computational models resolve the spectres of anthropomorphism and anthropocentrism?
  • agent architectures for animal cognition.
  • agent based models of animal societies.
  • can current multi-agent systems model animal societies realistically?
  • the role of reinforcement learning within larger models.
  • the possible role of deep learning in building better models.
  • the implications of evo-devo research: how to address the relations between phylogeny and ontogeny?

We encourage authors to discuss how their work relates to the AISB theme of AI and Society, such as indicating how the future of this science might develop;      what the contribution might be to related sciences (of ethology etc.);      new directions for computational modeling which may explore the similarities and distinctions of animal and human cognition;      what the impact might be on animal welfare, and our relationships with the natural world;      and on our changing conception of ourselves.
- On confusing the model with the modeled: Logical traps in the understanding of non-human cognition.


As this is a multi-disciplinary symposium, with different kinds of work expected to be submitted, there are no fixed page limits.  We seek reports of experiments with animals, or with artificial agents; or scholarly papers on the philosophy and history of science in this context; as well as position papers.  In all cases, there should be included enough background material in the introduction to inform researchers from other research disciplines.

Submissions via the easychair website here:

Accepted papers will be published in the AISB proceedings, with an ISBN number. Authors must sign a non-exclusive copyright declaration which gives AISB the right to publish the paper, but does not prevent the author from also publishing it in other venues afterwards.

Appropriate lengths may be anything from 4 to 10 pages.  We shall consider a special issue of a multi-disciplinary journal for post-proceedings publication, and in that event the longer submissions will be more likely selected.  However, authors of shorter position papers that address the wider issues suggested above will also be invited to submit fuller papers.

Extended abstracts of 2-4 pages also welcome, which may cover work already shown at other specialist forums, but presented now for a more general audience. Although substantial parts of work may be presented previously, the paper for AISB should include significantly new text, both for copyright, and for a wider audience. Work on animal behaviour that could appeal to cognitive scientists and artificial intelligence would be suitable if it is potentially tractable for computational modeling.

Important Dates
  •  submission of papers by:   6th March, 2017
  •  notification:   27th February 2017
  •  full paper due:   13th March 2017
  •  date of symposium == one day of the Convention
  •  dates of Convention:   18-21 April, 2017


- David Moffat,    Dept. of Digital Design Technologies,   Glasgow Caledonian University, UK.
- Joel Parthemore,   Dept. of Cognitive Neuroscience and Philosophy,    University of Skövde, Sweden.

Programme Committee :-

- Kim Bard, Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth, UK
- Sabrina Brando, AnimalConcepts.EU, and St Andrews University, UK
- Andy Byford, 
School of Modern Languages & Cultures, Durham University, UK
- Alan Costall, Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth, UK
- Dominic Dwyer, Neuroscience, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, UK
- Daniel Hanus, Max-Planck-Institut für evolutionäre Anthropologie, Leipzig, Germany
- Carlos Herrera, University of Manchester, UK
Ludmila Iesanu, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Belgium
- Joah Madden, Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour, University of Exeter, UK
- Mike Mendl, Animal Welfare, Cognition and Emotion, Bristol Neuroscience, UK
- Liz Paul, School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Bristol, UK
Alicja Puścian, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology PAS, Warsaw, Poland

The Programme Committee is drawn from the fields of AI a CogSci, philosophy, ethology and the veterinary sciences.

See the 
main AISB Convention website for details of the other symposia, and registration details.