6th eCAS Workshop on Engineering Collective Adaptive Systems (ECAS 2021)

6th eCAS Workshop on Engineering Collective Adaptive Systems (ECAS 2021)


In conjunction with the 2nd IEEE International Conference on Autonomic Computing and Self-Organizing Systems (ACSOS 2021, merger of the former ICAC and SASO conferences)


Important Dates

  • Workshop paper submission: July 9, 2021
  • Workshop paper notification: July 31, 2021
  • Camera-Ready Version: August 13, 2021 (HARD)
  • Workshop: Friday 1 October, 2021 (Program)

NEW: Special Issues (!!!)

Papers submitted to eCAS are encouraged to submit significantly extended versions to the open Frontiers Research Topic on Mobile Cyber-Physical Collectives. This invitation also applies to eCAS participants and researchers in general working on collective adaptive systems engineering.

Researchers on CAS may also find interesting the following open special issue: MDPI Electronics Special Issue on Quality Assurance and Risk Mitigation in Large-Scale Distributed Systems.

Aims and Motivations

Modern computing systems tend to be composed of many distributed and heterogeneous entities interacting with one another and with their environment to pursue a variety of goals and functionality. These systems typically operate under continuous perturbations, making manual adjustments and open-loop approaches infeasible, hence requiring self-* features (e.g., self-organisation, self-adaptation, self-configuration...). For a collective system to be resilient, its adaptation must also be collective, in the sense that multiple entities must adapt in a way that addresses critical runtime conditions while preserving the benefits of collaborative interdependencies. Decision-making in such systems is distributed and possibly highly dispersed, and interaction between the entities may lead to the emergence of unexpected phenomena.

To engineer such collective adaptive systems (CAS), new approaches for and understanding of collective adaptation are needed, to allow: i) multiple entities to adapt in a coordinated or complementary way, with ii) negotiations or other mechanisms to decide which collective changes are suitable. Collective adaptation also raises a second important challenge: Which parts of the system (things, services, people) should be engaged in an adaptation, and how? This is nontrivial, as multiple solutions to the same problem may be generated at different levels, and individuals in the collective often have partial information. The challenge is to understand these levels and create mechanisms to decide the right scope for an adaptation for a given problem. 

This workshop solicits papers that address new methodologies, theories, principles, and fundamental understanding, that can be used to underpin the design, operation, and analysis of CASs. Case studies, applications showing such approaches in action, and interdisciplinary work are particularly welcome. Research on CAS engineering can benefit from advances in related areas looking “beyond individual devices”, including (but not limited to) multi-agent systems, coordination, concurrency theory, self-* systems, collective intelligence, nature-inspired computing, organisational paradigms, and so on.

Suggested Topics (but not limited to):

  • Novel theories relating to operating principles of CAS
  • Novel design principles for building CAS systems
  • Insights into the short and long-term adaptation of CAS systems
  • Insights into emergent properties of CAS
  • Insights into general properties of large scale, distributed CAS
  • Comparing and analyzing approaches to CAS (e.g., distributed and centralized)
  • Decision-making approaches in CAS
  • Methodologies for studying, analyzing, and building CAS
  • Frameworks for analyzing or developing CAS case studies
  • Languages, platforms, APIs and other tools for CAS
  • Scenarios, case studies, and experience reports of CAS in different contexts (e.g., Smart Mobility, Smart Energy/Smart Grid, Smart Buildings, traffic management, emergency response, etc.)


The workshop is expected to attract participants from many disciplines, including (but not limited to) Autonomic Computing, Biology, Game Theory, Evolutionary Computing, Network Science, Self-Organizing Systems, Pervasive Computing, Collective Intelligence, and to be of interest to anyone working with the domain of large-scale self-adaptive systems. In addition, the European Commission has funded seven scientific projects and a Coordination Action in this area, with projects starting at the beginning of 2013. The proposed workshop provides a natural base for the projects to meet and share ideas, yet we stress that the workshop is in no way limited to this audience, and is likely to have broad appeal to a wide range of researchers. Potential audience members might work in application areas relating to large-scale distributed systems, or may come from any of the many disciplines that can provide insights into the operation and design of such systems.

Submission Details and Review Process

We solicit the following types of contributions:

  • Workshop papers, limited to 6 pages, including references: these provide research contributions and should include proper motivation and evaluation.
  • Position papers, limited to 2 pages, including references: these provide research ideas, should include proper motivation and arguments, but may include only preliminary forms of evaluation.

Both workshop papers and position papers will be published on IEEE Xplore in parallel with the main IEEE ACSOS conference proceedings. All contributions should follow IEEE Computer Society Press proceedings templates/style and be submitted in PDF format using the Easychair login page:


By submitting, the authors confirm that in case of acceptance, at least one author will present the work at the workshop.

All papers will be reviewed by an International Technical Program Committee with a minimum of 3 reviews per paper. Contributions will be peer reviewed for originality, clarity and readability, relevance to themes, soundness, and overall quality. 


All attendees at the workshop must register for ACSOS through the conference website.

Workshop Format

We anticipate a half-day workshop comprising the following items:

  • Presentation of the papers, which will be arranged into sessions organized to maximize the chance of interaction and discussion among the participants and the authors. 
  • Future Directions & Challenges for CAS: an interactive session at the end of the day to map out the research landscape of CAS.

The workshop is structured to promote interaction and collaboration. In the past, discussions have led to joint activities on themes such as CAS and society.

Workshop organizers

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