International Workshop on Complex Systems and Networks, IWCSN 2009

The 2009 International Workshop on Complex Systems and Networks was held in Bristol from July 20th to 22nd, 2009. This was the 6th International Workshop in a successful series of workshops organized in Bologna (2004), Hong Kong (2005), Vancouver (2006), Guilin (2007), and Canberra (2008).

The aim of the workshops is to foster exchange and collaboration among researchers in the fields of multi-agent and complex systems, nonlinear dynamics, networks, and coupled systems and related applications. The 2009 workshop was focused on understanding the emergence of coordinated behavior in multi-agent systems and networks and their applications. Topics included synchronization and control of networks of dynamical systems, coordination of behavior in multi-agent systems, and applications to biological and communication networks. The meeting was sponsored by the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society, the Centre for Chaos and Complex Networks at the City University of Hong Kong, the EU Project PASCAL, and the Bristol Centre for Complexity Sciences.

Following the successful initiative in Canberra in 2008, the first day of the workshop was devoted to tutorial lectures on several aspects of complexity theory. Lectures were given by Ron Chen (Hong Kong), Jean-Jacques Slotine (MIT), Ljiljana Trajkovic (SFU), Eddie Wilson (Bristol), and Caroline Colijn (Bristol). The following two days, an exciting set of lectures was delivered by a group of distinguished invited speakers. David Hill (Canberra) opened the meeting with an interesting lecture on the role of feedback on the theory of complex networks. Juergen Kurths (Potsdam) then discussed dynamics on complex networks in a number of application areas from neuroscience to the world climate. The workshop continued with a lecture from Jean-Jacques Sloting (MIT) on nonlinear contraction analysis and its applications. It was followed by lectures on entanglement in quantum mechanics and network Laplacians by Chai Wah Wu (IBM Research Centre). Michael Tse (Hong Kong) fascinated the audience with his latest research on composing music from complex networks. The first day was then closed by an interesting lecture on Internet topologies and their modeling by complex networks delivered by Ljiljana Trajkovic (SFU).

The second day of the workshop opened with a lecture by Ron Chen on naming game in complex networks. Then, Erik Volz (Cornell) discussed the interesting topic of epidemics on complex contact networks and Mike Kearns (Pennsylvania) presented his work on strategic behavior in complex networks. Applications of network theory to infrastructure networks were then presented in a lecture by David Arrowsmith (QMUL, UK). A selected number of participants presented talks on a number of topics ranging from percolation theory to cellular automata.

During an unusual sunny afternoon, a social dinner (see the included pictures) was held at Goldney Hall, one of the oldest buildings in Clifton, a residential area of Bristol. Participants had the opportunity to exchange ideas and work together in a nice informal environment. Thanks to Bristol City Council and Museum, the first ever Banksy exhibition took place at the Bristol Museum during the workshop. Despite the long queues, some of the participants had the possibility of admiring some of his latest creations!

The series of IWCSN workshops will continue, with the 2010 meeting to be hosted in Shanghai in October 2010. For more information see the IWCSN website at:

Mario di Bernardo, University of Bristol, UK (Email: