About FoCAS

The socio-technical fabric of our society more and more depends on systems that are constructed as a collective of heterogeneous components and that are tightly entangled with humans and social structures. Their components increasingly need to be able to evolve, collaborate and function as a part of an artificial society.

Video: FoCAS – Connecting Collective Adaptive Systems Research

The FoCAS coordination action is an umbrella project which aims to integrate, coordinate and help increase visibility for research carried out in the FOCAS Proactive Initiative and in research fields related to collective adaptive systems. Activities include:

  • Roadmapping – defining the future research agenda by engaging with experts within and outside of
    Europe and running consultation events
  • Facilitating community building and collaboration opportunities for researchers interested in
    collective adaptive systems through workshops and conferences
  • Online media lounge with downloadable resources to encourage improved collaboration
    between researchers within Europe and internationally
  • Providing dissemination opportunities, a positive interface between scientists, industry and the
    science-aware public to demonstrate how CAS can impact on society
  • Providing training opportunities for researchers through summer schools and exchange opportunities

People

Ben Paechter

Ben Paechter
(Coordinator) Edinburgh Napier University

Emma Hart

Emma Hart
(D. Coordinator)
Edinburgh Napier University

Jennifer Willies

Jennifer Willies
(Manager)
Edinburgh Napier University

Callum Egan

Callum Egan
(Media)
Edinburgh Napier University

Jeremy Pitt

Jeremy Pitt
(Public Dissemination)
Imperial College London

Giacomo Cabri

Giacomo Cabri
(Research Landscape)
University of Modena Italy

Franco Zambonelli

Franco Zambonelli
(R. Landscape) Reggio Emilia Italy

Gusz Eiben

Gusz Eiben (Training Leader)
VU University Amsterdam

Evert Haasdijk

Evert Haasdijk
(Training)
VU University
Amsterdam
Netherlands

Alois Ferscha

Alois Ferscha
(International Collaboration)
J K University Linz

FoCAS coordinates the research of 12 projects, but anyone or group can join if they have a research interest in Collective Adaptive Systems:

FoCAS Projects

Objective

A key feature of Collective Adaptive Systems (CAS’s) is that they comprise many units/nodes, which have their own individual properties, objectives and actions. Decision-making is distributed and possibly highly dispersed, and interaction between the units may lead to the emergence of unexpected phenomena. They are open, in that nodes may enter or leave the collective at any time, and boundaries between CAS’s are fluid. The units can be highly heterogeneous (computers, robots, agents, devices, biological entities, etc), each operating at different temporal and spatial scales, and having different (potentially conflicting) objectives and goals. The objective is to establish a foundational framework for CAS’s.

Target outcomes

Operating Principles: principles by which CAS’s can operate. These should go beyond existing control and optimisation theories, taking into account the diversity of objectives within the system, conflicts resolution, long term stability, and the need to reason in the presence of partial, noisy, out-of-date and inaccurate information

Design Principles: principles necessary to build and manage CAS’s, such as enabling the emergence of behaviour and facilitating prediction and control of those behaviours. These principles should exploit the inherent concurrency and include methods for system validation

Evolutionary Properties: properties concerning the evolutionary nature of CAS’s, e.g. open-ended (unbounded) evolutionary systems, the trade-off and interaction between learning and evolution, and the effect of evolution on operating and design principles

Expected impact

New functionalities for adaptive ICT systems enabled through novel principles, methods and technologies for designing and operating collective adaptive systems. New insights into the general properties of large scale distributed systems.


Future & Emerging Technologies (FET) Proactive Initiative

FET

FET-Proactive initiatives aim at focusing resources on visionary and challenging long-term goals that are timely and have strong potential for future impact. These goals provide a common strategic perspective and a focal point around which a critical mass of research can be assembled and synergies developed.

Proactive initiatives are launched through calls for proposals. The total budget per initiative in a call may be in the range of 15 to 30 million Euro.

General information on FET Proactive Initiatives.

Further detail on FET FoCAS.