Monday, September 12, 2016

ANTS 2016: The 10th International Conference on Swarm Intelligence

In my last post, I talked about my day off in Brussels, in between two meetings.  What brought me to Brussels in the first place was a plenary talk surveying my work on aggregate programming at the ANTS Swarm Intelligence conference. I enjoyed giving this talk greatly, and, so far as I could perceive, it appeared to be quite interesting and useful to my audience as well.  It was also interesting for me, as I was putting things together, to reflect on the remarkable degree to which my work in this area has gelled and reorganized itself in the past few years.  It is only such little time since we discovered field calculus, created the “self-organizing building blocks” approach to developing complex distributed systems, and elaborated the entirety of the aggregate programming stack.  As I look back, these developments seem so obvious, and yet it took so long to see, as perhaps is often the case with any significant scientific step.

This was also the first time I’d had a chance to actually attend ANTS since 2010, although I’ve been continually on the PC and following the work presented there.  It was nice to be there in person again, catching up with some folks I knew and meeting a couple of very cool new folks, and I also learned some things that I think will turn out relevant to problems that I am pursuing right now.  All told, I’d say, an excellent experience.

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