EVOSLACE: Workshop on the emergence and evolution of social learning, communication, language and culture in natural and artificial agents

in ALIFE 2018

Important dates

  • A poster presentation submission deadline: June 30 July 1st (closed)
  • Workshop date: July 25

Aim of the workshop

Language and communication emerges in humans through interaction with other agents in a physical, social and cultural environment. These interactions require a high level of sensory-motor intelligence (visual perception, body movement, navigation, object manipulation, auditory perception and articulatory control) but at the same time further enhance the capabilities and skills of the individual. All this appears to happen almost effortlessly in humans. How does this work? How does cooperation, communication and language emerge in natural and artificial systems. In particular, what are the biological, cognitive, social mechanisms and strategies that allow communication systems of human complexity to emerge and evolve. This workshop aims at answering these questions through an interdisciplinary approach.

In addition, the fields of social learning and cultural evolution aim at understanding how the exchange of knowledge within a group of individuals influences their performance. While cultural evolution focuses on how collective knowledge evolves over time within a population, social learning is concerned with the exchange of knowledge among individuals. Cultural evolution builds upon the mechanisms offered by social learning. This relationship is visible within the Alife community as social learning and cultural evolution are studied using similar methodologies, such as evolutionary robotics, evolutionary game theory, and evolutionary algorithms.

Furthermore, roles of constructive approaches are becoming more important in providing a framework to unify increasing knowledge about language and cultural evolution both in empirical studies such as communication in non-human animals, human evolution and language acquisition, and linguistic theories. We believe this can contribute to designing new co-creative ways of communication in modern societies such as SNS, IoT, and robots.

This workshop will mainly, but not exclusively, focus on grand challenges of social learning, cultural evolution, and language evolution research in Alife and Evolutionary Robotics, and other related interdisciplinary fields.

The name EVOSLACE is taken from the two different but closely related workshop proposals: Evolinguistics and SLACE. EVO is from MEXT/JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas Evolinguistics: Integrative Studies of Language Evolution for Co-creative Communication, which is the silver partner of ALIFE 2018. SLACE is The Workshop on Social Learning and Cultural Evolution (SLACE). The second workshop was held in ECAL2017.

Abstract booklet


  • Date: July 25th @ Mirakan, Tokyo
  • Time: 10:30-19:00

10:30-12:00 Session 1 (Opening, Evolinguistics and evolution of speech)

  • Opening
  • Emergent constructive approach to Evolinguistics: On intention sharing and hierarchy formation. Takashi Hashimoto (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan) (plenary talk)
  • Evolution of Speech: What evolved, and how can A-life study it?. Bart de Boer (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium) (special invited talk)

13:30-15:00 Session 2 (Symbol emergence and cognitive models for robots)

  • Constructive approach towards symbol emergence systems with cognitive robotics and machine learning. Tadahiro Taniguchi (Ritsumeikan University, Japan)
  • Integrated cognitive model for robots to learn concepts, actions, and language. Takayuki Nagai (The University of Electro-Communications)

15:30-17:00 Session 3 (Natural and artificial languages , poster session)

  • Exploring the texture of new words in natural and artificial languages. Ryoko Uno (Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology)
  • Poster session (45min + coffee break (30min))

17:30-19:00 Session 4 (Experimental and modeling approaches to cultural and biological evolution)

  • Experimental studies on the cumulative cultural evolution of technology, scientific knowledge, and arts. Masanori Takezawa (Hokkaido University, Japan).
  • An integrated model of gene-culture coevolution of language mediated by phenotypic plasticity. Takaya Arita (Nagoya University, Japan)
  • Closing

Poster presentation

  • Searle, Goguen, and algebraic semiotics: Toward a general theory of social institution. Tzu-Keng Fu.
  • Influence of mating mechanisms in distributed rvolution for collective robotics. Iñaki Fernández Pérez and Stéphane Sanchez.
  • The effect of autistic tendency on the formation of a new communication system. Akira Kojima, Masatomo Kurebayashi and Junya Morita.
  • Proposal of perceptual system for temporal learning. Kunpei Kato, Ryosuke Tanaka, Shion Yamamoto, Kouhei Yamamoto and Naoyuki Kubota.
  • Emergence of online echo chambers. Kazutoshi Sasahara.
  • Analyzing behavioral complexity of social bots and bot clusters. Masaki Sugimori and Kazutoshi Sasahara.
  • Understanding ecoacoustic interactions among songbirds as complex systems using robot audition techniques. Reiji Suzuki, Shinji Sumitani, Shiho Matsubayashi, Arita Takaya, Kazuhiro Nakadai and Hiroshi G. Okuno.
  • Building hierarchical structure: Its functional model and evolutionary simulation. Genta Toya, Rie Asano and Takashi Hashimoto.
  • A framework for emergence and evolution of acoustic communication among virtual creatures that physically make sounds. Yoshiyuki Omomo, Ryohei Seki, Naoaki Chiba, Reiji Suzuki and Takaya Arita.
  • The Effects of individual and social learning on evolution of co-creative communication. Hiroto Yonenoh, Reiji Suzuki and Takaya Arita.
  • Online language learning by integrated cognitive architecture. Kazuki Miyazawa, Tatsuya Aoki, Takato Horii, Tomoaki Nakamura and Takayuki Nagai.
  • Brain-body-environment-body-brain system of referential communication on a two dimensional agent based model. Jorge I. Campos, Tom Froese.

Call for poster presentation (closed)

We invite poster presentations related to the topics of the workshop.

The presenter needs to submit a one-page abstract of the presentation.

The abstracts of the accepted presentation will be compiled into an abstract booklet PDF and made publicly available on the workshop website.

The abstract should be sent via e-mail: evoslace2018@googlegroups.com

The abstract template is here. Please submit the word file (not PDF).

Note: The registration for the main conference (ALIFE 2018) is necessary.


  • Reiji Suzuki (Nagoya University, Japan)
  • Michael Spranger (Sony Computer Science Laboratories Inc., Japan)
  • Julien Hubert (TITech, Japan)
  • James Borg (Keele University, UK)
  • Hiroto Yonenoh (Nagoya University, Japan)
  • Jacqueline Heinerman (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherland)
  • Chris Marriott (University of Washington, USA)
  • Peter Andras (Keele University, UK)
  • Kazutoshi Sasahara (Nagoya University, Japan)
  • Takaya Arita (Nagoya University, Japan)
  • Takashi Hashimoto (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan)
  • Takayuki Nagai (The University of Electro-Communications, Japan)
  • Yoshinobu Hagiwara (Ritsumeikan University, Japan)
  • Tadahiro Taniguchi (Ritsumeikan University, Japan)


Reiji Suzuki: reij@nagoya-u.jp