History of conferences "Systems Science"


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 17 June 2008


Jozefczyk, J. (2008), "History of conferences "Systems Science"", Kybernetes, Vol. 37 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/k.2008.06737eaa.002



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

History of conferences "Systems Science"

Article Type: Guest editorial From: Kybernetes, Volume 37, Issue 5

The Special Issue of Kybernetes is devoted to the series of International Conferences “Systems Science” as well as to their initiator and a long-time Chairman Professor Zdzisaw Bubnicki. The main purpose is to disseminate among specialists on systems and cybernetics, readers of Kybernetes, information on the achievements of one of the most meritorious European scientific conference on systems science with a long history. It is also a tribute to Professor Zdzisaw Bubnicki, outstanding and well recognized scientist on systems science and engineering, connected with the journal and the World Organization of Systems and Cybernetics.

The international conferences “Systems Science” have already a long history of promoting new ideas in the area of systems science and engineering. It was in 1973 when a group of young scientists from Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland led by Professor Zdzisaw Bubnicki decided to invite scientists from Poland and other countries to a meeting in order to exchange ideas on modern problems of systems science and engineering. Thus, in 1974, the first International Conference “Systems Science” was held in Wrocaw. Encouraged by the success of the first meeting, the decision was made to continue with the conference every year. Six international conferences on systems science were organized by Wroclaw University of Technology till 1979. The leading scientists participated in the international program committee and many authors from the USA, Japan, India and almost all European countries presented their work in Wrocaw. After six years of existence, the conference was already well known as a forum for presentation of original papers on a good professional level and for discussions integrating different subjects of systems science and engineering and specialists from universities, research centres, and industry.

It is not an exaggeration to say that these international meetings with the invited papers presented by the outstanding scientists from different countries, helped to set the new directions which now create the frames of systems science and engineering:

  • model building methodology and the methods of system modelling;

  • methods and techniques of system identification;

  • problems and methods of the analysis and decision making (including optimization) for the different types of the systems;

  • methods and techniques of the control and management of the different types of the systems;

  • problems and methods of intelligent and uncertain systems; and

  • applications to material processing and manufacturing, power, information, transportation, biomedical, and socio-economic systems.

During the conference in 1979, Professor Zdzisaw Bubnicki decided to organize future conferences in Wroclaw every two years. Then Professor D.J.G. James from the Coventry University (England) and his colleagues suggested that they join a team from Wroclaw to organize the conferences in alternate years in Coventry. Consequently, the next meeting in 1980 took place in Coventry. In 1983, Professor W. Wells, originally from the Wright State University (USA) and later from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (USA) and his colleagues from the USA joined the teams from Poland and England, and the next meeting in 1984 was organized in the USA. It was decided to call conferences in Poland as “Systems Science” and in England and the USA as “Systems Engineering”. Consequently, the series of International Conferences on Systems Science and Engineering were jointly organized on a rotational basis as the result of the co-operation among three institutions: the Wroclaw University of Technology (Poland), the Coventry University (England) and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (USA). So, 16 conferences “Systems Science” were organized in Wroclaw in 1974-1979, 1981 and starting from 1983 every three years. The last one, i.e. XVI International Conference “Systems Science” was held in September 4-6, 2007 with the following International Program Committee: P. Albertos (Spain), A.V. Balakrishnan (USA), L. Borzemski (Poland), V.N. Burkov (Russia), K.J. Burnham (UK), A. Grzech (Poland) – Chairman, K. Hasegawa (Japan), T. Hasegawa (Japan), A. Isidori (Italy), D.J.G. James (UK), J. Józefczyk (Poland), J. Kacprzyk (Poland), L. Keviczky (Hungary), G. Klir (USA), G.L. Kovacs (Hungary), V. Kucera (Czech Republic), R. Kulikowski (Poland), A.B. Kurzhanski (Russia), B. Neumann (Germany), J.J. Lee (Korea), S.Y. Nof (USA), W. Pedrycz (Canada), F. Pichler (Austria), G.P. Rao (India), H. Selvaraj (USA), M. Sugisaka (Japan), A. Sydow (Germany), J. Swiatek (Poland), Y. Takahara (Japan), M. Thoma (Germany), S.G. Tzafestas (Greece), H. Unbehauen (Germany), R. Vallée (France), W.R. Wells (USA), L.A. Zadeh (USA). Similarly, two first conferences “Systems Engineering” took place in Coventry in 1980 and 1982, and the next ones were organized every three years in Las Vegas and Coventry, starting from 1984 and 1985, respectively. This year’s XIX International Conference “Systems Engineering” will be held in Las Vegas in August.

The last two conferences “Systems Science” in Wroclaw were co-sponsored by the World Organization of Systems and Cybernetics (President Professor Robert Vallée, Director General Dr Alex Andrew).

Professor Zdzislaw Bubnicki (June 17, 1938-March 12, 2006) – a brief professional biography

Founder and for many years Director of the Institute of Information Science and Engineering (the former Institute of Control and Systems Engineering) at Wroclaw University of Technology; a Co-founder of the Faculty of Computer Science and Management of the same university; a full member of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS), the President of PAS-Wroclaw Branch (1991-1998); Chairman of Scientific Councils of the Institute of Computer Science of PAS (1987-1989) and of the Systems Research Institute of PAS (1990-2006); President of the Committee of Automation and Robotics of PAS (1988-2006); a member of the Committee of Informatics of PAS; a member of a working group of the Polish Committee for Scientific Research (1997-2000); Polish representative in the IFIP General Assembly (1986-2003) and in the IFIP Artificial Intelligence Committee; a member of the Technical Committees of the IFIP and the IFAC; Polish representative in the Administrative Council of the European Union Control Association, EUCA; a member of the Executive Boards of the International Association of Science and Technology for Development, IASTED (Canada) and the International Institute for General System Studies, IIGSS (USA); Editor-in-Chief of the Systems Science journal; the Initiator and Chairman of International Conferences “Systems Science” (starting from 1974); visiting professor and a participant of international conferences, e.g. in: the USA, Japan, Canada, India, the People’s Republic of China, Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico and most European countries.

Professor Bubnicki was one of the most outstanding contemporary Polish scientists, creator of the worldwide recognized Wroclaw Scientific School of Computer Science and Control Systems, a successful supervisor of 45 PhD students, 16 of whom currently hold professorial positions.

Professor Bubnicki opened up many new research directions in the field of computer and control science, in particular, in the area of: discrete and digital control systems, identification and pattern recognition in complex systems, control of operation systems, expert systems and knowledge-based computer decision systems, artificial intelligence and uncertain systems. The main results – new stability conditions for uncertain discrete systems, identification and pattern recognition algorithms in complex systems and their applications, logic-algebraic method and its applications to knowledge-based systems, new methods of learning in knowledge-based systems, uncertain variables and their applications to computer decision systems with uncertain knowledge, allocation problems under uncertainty in computer and manufacturing systems – have been published in more than 250 papers and articles, in nine books (Analysis and Decision Making in Uncertain Systems, Springer Verlag 2004 received The Book of the Year Award), and presented at many international congresses.

Professor Bubnicki as an excellent and active scientist and educator was a member of many national and international scientific associations, including the Polish Academy of Sciences (full member), the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (foreign member), the World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics, WOSC (honorary member), IEEE (senior member), and received numerous national and international distinctions and awards, e.g. many awards of the Ministry of Higher Education, the IFIP Silver Core Award, The Best Paper Award at the CASYS conferences in Belgium, The Distinguished Leadership in Science and Education Award, The Life-long Achievement Award and The Distinguished Professor Title – from the International Institute of Advanced Studies in Systems Research and Cybernetics, IIAS (Canada).

The title of Doctor Honoris Causa was given to Professor Bubnicki by Szczecin University of Technology, the Military University of Technology in Warsaw and Poznan; University of Technology.

Contents of the special issue

Seven papers presented during the last conference “Systems Science” in Wroclaw (September 2007) and included in this special issue concern decision-making systems, in particular, control systems as well as their applications. They advantageously represent the main stream of “Systems Science” conferences.

Platonov focuses his attention on the design of new efficient adaptive systems for estimation, identification and filtering of signals and physical processes. The results obtained make it possible to optimise jointly analogue and digital parts of systems. Their practical importance consists in the fact that one can efficiently use both analogue and digital components (hardware and software) of the system.

The second paper by Lozowicka Stupnicka, Lozowicka and Lozowicki deals with theoretical aspects of control systems. A special case of such systems is considered when state feedback is taken into account for systems with a large gain. In particular, a method for determination of a high-precision performance for feedback control systems as well as the conditions of controllability are presented.

Two consecutive papers by Ashimov et al. and Kawabe are application oriented. The first one shows how one can apply selected advanced control theory methods to a market economy development. The theoretical results concerning parametrical regulation theory for the case considered are given. Their application to the problem of economic growth is explained, and, in particular, the model in the form of differential equations, an analysis of a structural stability and a choice of an effective parametrical regulation law are discussed.

The next paper by Kawabe delivers a very interesting combination of a specific control method and the man-machine systems with Brain Machine Interface (BMI). The paper proposes a new improved receding horizon control method for the application to the BMI-based systems. The method proposed can be used for real world systems, e.g. for car-cruising systems or wheel-chaired systems.

The next two papers concern a complex of operation systems, i.e. systems composed of the operations connected with each other by time relationships which means that to start the performance of an individual operation it is necessary to complete the other operations. A case is considered when the execution time of each operation depends on an amount of resources or tasks allocated to the operation. For such a system, two particular uncertain decision-making problems are investigated for different descriptions of the uncertainty which concern parameters in models of the operations. Józefczyk proposes to describe the uncertain parameters in the form of a set of their possible values and then to solve an uncertain optimization problem with the performance index based on the relative regret for the worst-case with respect to the realizations of the uncertain parameters.

Another approach is considered by Orski and Hojda when a formalism of so-called uncertain variables is used and a knowledge about the uncertainty is given by an expert in the form of certainty distributions. Series-parallel and parallel-series structures of the complex of operation systems are only taken into account as well as the applications to production systems are addressed in the latter paper.

The formalism of the uncertain variables is also used by Gasior in the last paper, but it is applied to the decision making in computer networks. Namely, the rate control problem for a computer network is dealt with for which a number of uncertain problems are considered. These problems differ with respect to performance indices used for the evaluation of the uncertainty as well as to the parameters assuming to be uncertain.

Jerzy JózefczykGuest Editor