Agent-Based Modelling of Human Behaviour (ABMHuB’23)

organized by Soo Ling Lim and Peter J. Bentley

Agent-based modelling has a long history of success in many related fields from economics and cooperative behaviours, to social conflict, civil violence and revolution.

This session aims to bring together researchers who are interested in using agent-based modelling to understand human behaviour. It is a combination of computational modelling, social science and behavioural science, which is a growing area of research. Our motivation is to improve our understanding of collective human behaviour and address significant issues that are affecting the human population today, such as climate change, the global pandemic and misinformation. Alife models offer the capability to create realistic laboratories for which to conduct experiments and progress our understanding in the area. We encourage researchers to use behavioural modelling to assess, challenge or even replace competing theories of human behaviour. Discussions of practical applications, ethical implications, and use cases from industry are also welcome. ABMHuB has been organised as a workshop in the past four ALife conferences: ABMHuB 2022, ABMHuB 2021, ABMHuB 2020 and ABMHuB 2019.

Contributions will be invited in the following areas:

  • Agent-based modelling of human behaviour and organisational behaviour
  • ALife models of individual behaviour, diversity, and group performance
  • ALife models of human communication, trust, conflict, and conflict resolution
  • ALife models of collaboration, cooperation, competition
  • ALife models of social media and spread of misinformation
  • Collective intelligence, teamwork, coalition, distributed problem solving
  • Social networks, socio-technical systems
  • Epidemiology and spread of diseases
  • Social simulation, interactive simulation and emergent behaviour
  • Education technology, personalised teaching and training.
  • Incentives, reward structures, reinforcement learning
  • Agent-based modelling of economic paradigms such as negotiation and bargaining, games, auctions, markets
  • Agent-based modelling of location behaviour, spatial patterns, geographical systems, urban evacuation, driver route choices, traffic flows, transport logistics
  • Agent-based modelling of human systems such as smart grids, app stores, economies
  • ALife models of the emergent effect and propagation of communication in human systems
  • Use of agent-based modelling to evaluate or understand existing findings in behavioural science and psychology

Vita Ludens: Playfulness in Living Systems

organized by Olaf Witkowski and Yuko Ishihara

Artificial Life studies the nature of the living state, by modeling and synthesizing living systems. Such living systems have been studied under many properties. One property of special interest is the playfulness of the system. The research in playfulness comprises numerous key angles, including the study of incompetent agents, open games or games with emergent rules, uncertainty as an openness to surprise, isolated designs, all relevant to the study of both natural and artificial agents, including various focuses on human behavior, animal behavior, but also importantly parallels with AI, robots, and life-like simulations. The topic of playfulness naturally connects with the topics of creativity, emergence, open-endedness, diversity, and control of homeostatic stress, autopoietic theory, all bearing strong connections with the field of Artificial Life. Additionally, playfulness may also take some particular meaning in the playful attitude of researchers in the field, with respect to their topic of research: perhaps only with a distance brought by a playful study of the living state, may scholars make sense of the nature and mechanisms of its phenomena.

This special session aims to catalyze rich connections between the fields of Artificial Life and the study of playfulness. Our purpose in holding this session is to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scientists, philosophers, and experts in relevant domains around the topic of play, for a conductive round-table discussion and sharing a mix of recent works and original submissions at the conference. We are planning a half-day session, organized around sharing works on the topic followed by an open discussion. The session will involve an invited keynote and a few panelists.

Useful References

  • Huizinga, J. (2014). Homo ludens: A study of the play-element in culture. Routledge.
  • Burghardt, G. M. (2005). The genesis of animal play: Testing the limits. MIT press.
  • Eberle, S. G. (2014). The elements of play: Toward a philosophy and a definition of play. American Journal of Play, 6(2), 214-233.


Games, playful systems, open-endedness, creativity, diversity, gaming tourism, emergent rules, open games, emergence of language, framework isolation, make-believe, hypnosis, models of play, interdisciplinarity, medium and form, autopoiesis, play metaphor, ethics of play, games of truth.

(In)human Values And Artificial Agency

organized by Simon McGregor, Rory Greig and Chris Buckley

Special Session on “(In)Human Values and Artificial Agency” at ALIFE 2023

ALIFE 2023 (the 2023 conference on Artificial Life) will feature a Special Session on “(In)human Values and Artificial Agency”. This session focuses on issues at the intersection of AI Safety and Artificial Life. We invite the submission of research papers, or extended abstracts, that deal with related topics.

We particularly encourage submissions from researchers in the AI Safety community, who might not otherwise have considered submitting to ALIFE 2023.

Submissions to the Special Session

The theme of the Special Session is “(In)human Values and Artificial Agency”. Submissions to the Special Session should take the form of short papers (max. 8 pages) or extended abstracts.

The scope of the Special Session is fairly broad, and we welcome submissions regardless of whether they are philosophical, technical, opinion pieces or literature reviews. The only criterion for the special session is that a submission should link in some way to both Artificial Life and AI Safety.

We particularly welcome submissions that engage in some way with questions about the normative values of artificial agents (as manifest in their behaviour), and how these agents’ values relate to human values.

Examples of A-Life Related Topics

Here are a few examples of topics that engage with A-Life concerns:

  • Abstracted simulation models of complex emergent phenomena
  • Concepts such as embodiment, the extended mind, enactivism, sensorimotor contingency theory, or autopoiesis
  • Collective behaviour and emergent behaviour
  • Fundamental theories of agency or theories of cognition
  • Teleological and goal directed behaviour of artificial agents
  • Specific instances of adaptive phenomena in biological, social or robotic systems
  • Thermodynamic and statistical-mechanical analyses
  • Evolutionary, ecological or cybernetic perspectives

Examples of AI Safety Related Topics

Here are a few examples of topics that engage with AI Safety concerns:

  • Assessment of distinctive risks, failure modes or threat models for artificial adaptive systems
  • Fundamental theories of agency, theories of cognition or theories of optimization
  • Embedded Agency, formalizations of agent-environment interactions that account for embeddedness, detecting agents and representations of agents’ goals
  • Selection theorems – how selection pressures and training environments determine agent properties
  • Multi-agent cooperation, inferring / learning human values and aggregating preferences
  • Techniques for aligning AI models to human preferences, such as Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF)
  • Goal Misgeneralisation – how agent’s goals generalise to new environments
  • Mechanistic interpretability of learned / evolved agents (“digital neuroscience”)
  • Improving fairness and reducing harm from machine learning models deployed in the real world
  • Loss of human agency from increasing automation

Prize for best presentation

There will be a $500 cash prize for the best presentation in the special session.

Organised by

  • Simon McGregor (University of Sussex)
  • Rory Greig (DeepMind)
  • Chris Buckley (University of Sussex)


Rory Greig (

ALife And Society VII

organized by Imran Khan and Peter Lewis

Now in its seventh year, the ALIFE and Society Special Session will once again aim to provide a home for extended and critical discussion of how our discipline could, does and should engage with the grand societal, ecological, and planetary challenges of our time.

Artificial Life, with its combination of philosophical perspectives, modelling approaches, insights, methods, and technologies, has immense potential to engage with pressing societal, ecological, and planetary problems. Many of these are one-shot wicked problems, where quality of “life” is fundamentally wrapped up in the quality of society and the environment. Addressing these problems necessitates interactionist perspectives rather than individualist approaches to “quality” that place equity, sustainability, and the reality of socio-economical-political contexts at the heart of research.

The goal of the Alife And Society Special Session is to continue providing a space for ALife-based research and perspectives – in particular those that can help enable or be a catalyst for addressing societal, ecological, and planetary problems – to be explored in a scientific and critical manner. Our Special Session will facilitate scholarly discourse on these areas, where ALife perspectives can be developed from ideas to experiments and practice, in collaborations with other disciplines and those working on the ground on these grand challenges.

For a full list of topics of interest, please see