Artificial Life is an interdisciplinary enterprise investigating the fundamental properties of living systems through simulating and synthesizing biological entities and processes in artificial media. ECAL, the European Conference on Artificial Life, is a biannual meeting complementing the mostly US-based “ALife” conference series.
Over the past two decades, some of the highly speculative ideas that were discussed at the field’s inception have matured to the extent that new conferences and journals devoted to them are being established: synthesising artificial cells, simulating massive biological networks, exploiting biological substrates for computation and control, and deploying bio-inspired engineering are now cutting-edge practice. In the same period, biological knowledge grew at an unprecedented rate, giving rise to entire new disciplines, such as systems biology, and witnessed the rapid advancement of modelling and quantitative methods throughout the field. ECAL209 endeavours to bring together experts of computational and other ALife methods with more “conventional” mathematical modellers, reflecting on the fact that boundaries become rapidly blurred.