Special Session

Evolutionary Physical SYstems and Matter (EPSyM)

IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence 2016 (IEEE WCCI 2016)

Conference dates: July 25th to 29th 2016
Paper submission deadline: January 15th January 31st 2016, 24:00 EST (FINAL)

Vancouver, Canada


Stefano Nichele
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

Gunnar Tufte
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

Scope and call for papers

The special session on Evolution of Physical SYstems and Matter (EPSyM) encompasses understanding, modeling and applying biologically inspired mechanisms to physical systems, where evolution occurs entirely in the real-world physical substrates rather than in simulation. Using real physical systems or materials for computation may allow evolution to exploit underlying physical properties that may not be available in simulation (e.g. due to «reality gap»), thus allowing the discovery of novel evolutionary solutions.

The aim of this special session is to bring together researchers in order to share ideas and innovations on biologically inspired mechanisms applied to physical systems. Application areas include bio-inspired algorithms applied to physical systems, the creation of novel physical devices, novel or optimized designs for physical systems, adaptive physical systems, novel evolutionary techniques for embedded evolution and embedded computation, and novel material substrates that may support computation.

This special session is inspired by overlapping principles that emerged in several domains, such as Evolution-in-Materio (Pask, 1959; Miller and Downing, 2002), where underlying physics of materials is used as computation substrate.

Notable examples of evolution of physical systems and matter range from novel nanoscale materials for computation (Broersma et al., 2012), to FPGAs (Thompson, 1996), embodied evolution (Watson et al., 2002), 3D printers (Rieffel and Sayles, 2010), EHW (Yao and Higuchi, 1996; Greenwood and Tyrrell, 2006), electronic devices (Hornby at al., 2006) and robotics (Zykov et al., 2004).


The special session on Evolutionary Physical Systems and Matter intends to collect both theoretical machines and contributions/principles, and practical applications. Real application scenarios, from nanotechnology to buildings, are welcome. The topics of this special issue include (but are not limited to):

  • Evolution of Physical Systems
  • Evolution-in-Materio
  • Computational Matter
  • Evolution of Micro/Nano-Devices
  • Embodied Evolution
  • Morphological Computation (e.g. Tensegrity, 3D printers) and Embodied Computation
  • Slime Mould Computing
  • Physical Implementations of Reservoir Computing
  • Exploitation of Evolutionary Techniques for Creating Physical Circuits (Design and Fabrication)
  • Micro and Nano-scale Electronic Chemistry
  • Evolvable Systems Techniques
  • Self-reconfiguration, fault tolerance, self repair, adaptation
  • Artificial Generative and Developmental Systems
  • Evolution / Co-evolution of Controllers and Morphologies
  • Bio-Inspired Computation for new Materials Engineering
  • Bio-Inspired Computation for Fabrication of Novel Physical Devices

Submission Instructions

We welcome original contributions describing ongoing projects or completed work. The instructions for authors, and LaTeX and Word templates can be found at http://www.wcci2016.org/submission.php. You can also upload your paper directly here.

Important dates

Paper submission: January 15 January 31, 2016, 24:00 EST (FINAL)
Author notification: March 15, 2016
Final Submission: April 15, 2016


Please feel free to contact us:
Stefano Nichele: nichele@idi.ntnu.no
Gunnar Tufte: gunnart@idi.ntnu.no

About the organizers

Stefano Nichele is a Researcher at the Department of Computer and Information Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim (Norway). Dr. Nichele received his Ph.D. from the Faculty of Information Technology, Mathematics and Electrical Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim (Norway) and a M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Insubria, Varese (Italy).

His research interests are unconventional computing architectures, evolution-in-materio, complex and biologically inspired systems, bio-inspired computation, cellular automata and EvoDevo systems. He is currently working within the EU FP7 FET project NASCENCE (NAnoSCale Engineering for Novel Computation using Evolution), which tries to evolve nanosystems as computational substrates.

Webpage: http://www.nichele.eu/

Gunnar Tufte is an Associate Professor at the Department of Computer and Information Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Tufte obtained his Ph.D. degree in computer science from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 2004.

His main research interests include evolution-in-materio, vast parallel architectures, bio-inspired hardware, artificial development, evolvable hardware, artificial life and complex & adaptive systems. Dr. Tufte currently works on evolution of nanoscale information processing devices within the EU FP7 FET project NASCENCE.

Webpage: https://www.ntnu.edu/employees/gunnar.tufte

Program Committee

Julian F. Miller, University of York
Johannes Jensen, NTNU
Hajo Broersma, University of Twente
Odd Rune Lykkebø, NTNU
Mattew Dale, University of York
Kyrre Glette, University of Oslo
Dragana Laketic, NTNU & ARM
Stefano Nichele, NTNU
Gunnar Tufte, NTNU