ACCS Workshop

Control and Constraint: Cross-Centre Insights from Modelling Cellular Morphogenesis

Time: 10:00-12:30, Wednesday 25th January

Room: 78/420

All are welcome, but we particularly encourage those developing and implementing computational models to attend.


Biological morphogenesis emerges from interactions between components at multiple levels of description, from genes to cells to organisms. The control processes inherent in guiding development are some of the most complex available to analysis, and an understanding of biological development has much to offer, both in terms of theory and tools, to other disciplines. We have developed an integrated multi-agent model of cellular morphogenesis that combines a biophysical environment model with a dynamic network controller that is capable of generating complex spatial structures.

The aim of this workshop is to discuss and identify common features of model systems between the three ACCS streams. Using the insights and models from the morphogenesis project as a starting point, we will identify possible areas for the transfer of modelling methodologies. The focus will be on the idea of constraints on agents (E.g., physical interactions of cells) and the implications these have for multi-agent system behaviour. In biological development these constraints are known to enhance organisation in the system, and reduce the burden on control/decision systems.  These systems often exhibit desirable properties such as robustness to intrinsic and extrinsic perturbation, modularity (code re-use), self-maintainence, and adaptivity.

By the end of the workshop participants will have:

  • A better understanding of the relationships between problem areas in the three ACCS streams
  • Identified areas of cross-over in methodologies from and to their own area of study
  • Developed possibilities for collaboration with other streams


  • 10:00-10:30   Coffee and introduction to workshop (please RSVP to Tim Rudge [])
  • 10:30-10:45   Abstract overview of constrained multi-agent system approach
  • 10:45-11:00   Introduction to cellular morphogenesis model  and demonstration of system
  • 11:00-11:30 Breakout discussions focusing on ATC, Economics, and GRNs
  • 11:30-12:00 Presentation and discussion of ideas raised
  • 12:00-12:15 Summary and wrapping up



World-class basic and applied inter-disciplinary research on questions fundamental to understanding, designing and managing complex systems
2009 The ARC Centre for Complex Systems, Australia