6th Workshop on Biological Distributed Algorithms

July 23rd, 2018 in London (Egham), UK

Directions to campus

Co-located with PODC 2018

We are excited to announce the 6th workshop on Biological Distributed Algorithms (BDA). BDA is focused on the relationships between distributed computing and distributed biological systems and in particular, on analysis and case studies that combine the two. Such research can lead to better understanding of the behavior of the biological systems while at the same time developing novel algorithms that can be used to solve basic distributed computing problems.

BDA 2018 will include talks on distributed algorithms related to a variety of biological systems. We will devote special attention to communication and coordination in insect colonies (e.g. foraging, navigation, task allocation, construction) and networks in the brain.

Pre-selected invited speakers

- Vijay Balasubramanian, U Penn [website]
- Luca Cardelli, Microsoft Research [website]
- Roderich Gross, U Sheffield [website]
- Yoram Moses, Technion [website]
- Ana Sendova-Franks, UWE Bristol [website]
- Damien Woods, Inria [website]


08:20 - 08:30 - Organziers Welcome

Ants and stochastic systems

08:30 - 09:00 - Ana Sendova-Franks, UWE Bristol [Invited] [slides]
Title: Distributed Algorithms and Universality of Individual Movement in Ant Colonies

09:00 - 09:20 - Chism, Marquardt, and Dornhaus [slides]
Title: The influence of nest architecture on colony organization in ants

09:20 - 09:30 - Imrie and Herrmann [slides]
Title: Biologically Inspired Self-Organised Spatial Formation in Swarms using Turing Patterns

09:30 - 09:40 - Cannon, Daymude, Gokman, Randall, Richa [slides]
Title: A Local Stochastic Algorithm for Separation in Heterogeneous Self-Organizing Particle Systems

09:40 - 10:00 - Boczkowski, Feinerman, Korman, and Natale [slides]
Title: Limitations on Information Dissemination via Noisy Communication and Implications to Animal Group Behavior

10:00 - 10:10 - Umino, Kitamura, and Izumi [slides]
Title: Differentiation in Population Protocols

10:10 - 10:30 - Mallmann-Trenn, Pajak, Lynch, Radeva, and Dornhaus [slides]
Title: Self-Stabilizing Task Allocation In Spite of Noise

10:30 - 11:00 - Coffee Break 1

11:00 - 11:30 - Damien Woods, Inria [Invited] [slides]
Title: Molecular computation with DNA self-assembly

11:30 - 11:50 - Rashid, Taubenfeld, and Bar-Joseph [slides]
Title: Genome Wide Epigenetic Modifications as a Shared Memory Consensus Problem

11:50 - 12:20 - Luca Cardelli, Microsoft Research [Invited] [slides]
Title: Programming with Chemical Reactions

12:20 - 12:30 - Becchetti, Bonifaci, and Natale [slides]
Title: Pooling or Sampling: Collective Dynamics for Electrical Flow Estimation

12:30 - 13:30 - Lunch Break

Neuroscience and related

13:30 - 14:00 - Vijay Balasubramanian, UPenn [Invited] [slides]
Title: The brain distributes computation to function efficiently

14:00 - 14:10 - Chandrasekhar and Navlakha [slides]
Title: A distributed algorithm for generating Pareto-optimal neural arbors

14:10 - 14:20 - Rinkus [slides]
Title: Sparse distributed representations, hierarchy, critical periods, metaplasticity: The keys to lifelong fixed-time learning and best-match retrieval

14:20 - 14:40 - Dasgupta, Sheehan, Stevens, and Navlakha [slides]
Title: A neural approach to novelty detection

14:40 - 14:50 - Cruciani, Natale, and Scornavacca [slides]
Title: On the Metastability of Quadratic Majority Dynamics on Clustered Graphs and its Biological Implications

Robots and swarms

14:50 - 15:00 - Augustine and Moses Jr [slides]
Title: Dispersion of Mobile Robots: A Study of Memory-Time Trade-offs

15:00 - 15:30 - Coffee Break 2

15:30 - 16:00 - Roderich Gross, U Sheffield [Invited] [slides]
Title: Less is More? Controlling Swarms and Turing Learning

16:00 - 16:20 - Talamali, Marshall, Bose, and Reina [slides]
Title: Count to ten before speaking: Strategies to improve decision accuracy in a robot swarm

16:20 - 16:30 - Gmyr, Hinnenthal, Kostitsyna, Kuhn, Rudolph, Scheideler, and Strothmann [slides]
Title: Forming Tile Shapes With Simple Robots

16:30 - 16:50 - Pavlic, Hanson, Valentini, Walker, Pratt [slides]
Title: Quorum sensing without counting, a discounting approach, or: Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded

16:50 - 17:00 - Collet and Korman [slides]
Title: Intense Competition can Drive Selfish Explorers to Optimize Coverage

17:00 - 17:30 - Yoram Moses, Technion [Invited] [slides]
Title: The Interplay Between Knowledge and Action in DA and BDA

Call for presentations

We solicit submissions of extended abstracts describing recent results relevant to biological distributed computing. We especially welcome extended abstracts describing new insights and / or case studies regarding the relationship between distributed computing and biological systems even if these are not fully formed. Since a major goal of the workshop is to explore new directions and approaches, we especially encourage the submission of ongoing work. Selected contributors would be asked to present, discuss and defend their work at the workshop. Submissions should be in PDF and include title, author information, and a 4-page extended abstract. Shorter submissions are also welcome, particularly for poster presentation.

Please use the following EasyChair submission link: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=bda20183

Note: The workshop will not include published proceedings. In particular, we welcome submissions of extended abstracts describing work that has appeared or is expected to appear in other venues.

Important Dates:
May 7, 2018 - Extended abstract submission deadline, 23:59 AoE time
May 26, 2018 - Decision notifications
July 23, 2018 - Workshop

Financial support for all presenters

This year, we will provide financial support for all our presenters. Specifically, for each accepted presentation, we will pay for an economy class return flight to London (up to 1,000 EUR) as well as reimburse the workshop registration fee of one author. More information on applying for financial support will be forthcoming.

Program Committee

Ziv Bar-Joseph - CMU
Anna Dornhaus - University of Arizona
Nancy Lynch - MIT
Melanie Moses - UNM
Merav Parter - MIT
Andrea Richa - ASU
Nir Shavit - MIT

Organizing Committee and PC Chairs

Yuval Emek - Technion
Amos Korman - CNRS and University of Paris Diderot
Saket Navlakha - Salk Institute


This workshop is partially funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No 648032).