Our workshop on Wednesday follows the schedule of CCS’17.


Morning talks

Session 1: 9:00 – 10:30  (3 x 30 minutes talks)

  • 9:00 – 9:30 Ryan James:  A New Measure of Redundancy
  • 9:30 – 10:00 Conor Finn:  Local Information Decomposition Using the Specificity and Ambiguity Lattices
  • 10:00 -10:30 Gabriel Ramos-Fernandez et al.:  Using information theory to measure social flexibility and its consequences for social cognition

Session 2: 11:00 – 13:00  (1 keynote + 1 talk + 1 tutorial)

  • 11:00 – 11:45 (Keynote) David Wolpert: The minimal hidden computer in any visible computation
  • 11:45 – 12:15 Alec Boyd et al.:  Leveraging Environmental Correlations: The Thermodynamics of Requisite Variety
  • 12:15 – 13:00 Mile Gu:  Tutorial on Quantum Information Theory

Afternoon disccussion  14:30 – 16:00

This session is intended to openly discuss the different viewpoints of information theory and how they should contribute to a complex systems theory in a significant way. Everyone interested in invited to join this fundamental scientific discussion.

  • 14:30 – 15:15 Opening statements:
    • wolpert_smallDavid Wolpert: “People sometimes refer to physical systems undergoing Markovian dynamics as “processing information” (e.g., in statistical physics) and sometimes even refer to them as “performing computation” (e.g., in biology). Arguably though, unless we have theorems that apply to physical systems that “perform computation” but do not apply to arbitrary Markov processes, it is vacuous to use the term “computation” to describe the dynamics of physical systems. What might such theorems be?”
    • carlos-audiCarlos Gershenson: “Everything can be described in terms of information. Thus, information is a promising framework to explore general principles in science. Nevertheless, there is no agreement on what information is. The evolution of life, cognition, intelligence, and consciousness can be generalized in terms of the evolution of information. This prevents us from falling into a dualist trap. Moreover, we can gain insights into the evolution of complexity.”
      Gershenson, C. (2012). The world as evolving information. In Minai, A., Braha, D., and Bar-Yam, Y., editors, Unifying Themes in Complex Systems, volume VII, pages 100–115. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg.
    • mile_guMile Gu: “Complexity depends on what sort of information theory we use. The discovery of new physics (e.g. quantum mechanics) and lead to new methods of processing information,  and this can in turn, fundamentally change what we perceive to be complex.”


  • 15:15 – 16:00 Open discussion