Vallee, R. (2009), "14th International Congress of Cybernetics and Systems of the World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics (WOSC) Wroclaw, Poland, 9-12 September 2009", Kybernetes, Vol. 38 No. 1/2. https://doi.org/10.1108/k.2009.06738aac.001Download as .RIS
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14th International Congress of Cybernetics and Systems of the World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics (WOSC) Wroclaw, Poland, 9-12 September 2009
Article Type: Conference reports From: Kybernetes, Volume 38, Issue 1/2
This was the first visit of World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics (WOSC) to Poland and this triennial Congress was hosted by the Institute of Information Science and Engineering (IISE) at the Faculty of Computer Science and Management in Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland. About 140 delegates from over 25 countries attended. Many from the academic and industrial institutions of the host country. The Congress was organised by Professor Jerzy Jozefeczy, the Director of IISE and the Organising Committee, supported by an International Honorary Committee.
The Congress programme was well prepared and executed. There were no problems and its format is one that should be considered for future events. Some last minute changes had to be made when Professor Herman Haken had to withdraw as one of the plenary speakers. This was a great loss but the other plenary speakers produced excellent presentations. The Dean of the Faculty of Computer and Science Management filled in with a most interesting introduction to Wroclaw, the University City and its development. It was remarkable to learn that the city’s university population had grown from 23 students in 1910 to over 150,000 today.
Opening of the Congress
Professor Józefczyk introduced the speakers and Professor Brian Rudall gave a welcome address (Appendix 1). The Vice-Rector of the University described both the history and functions of this important establishment (in Polish and translated by the Dean) and the co-presidents welcome given (Appendix 2) (Figure 1).
The WOSC President’s message was read out and (Appendix 3) the WOSC Director-General’s greetings were displayed as a PowerPoint presentation. Final announcements by Professor Józefczyk and Dr D. Orski.
The programme continued with the first Plenary lecture by Professor Nicolae Bulz.
The printed programme was amended and the Dean of the Faculty gave an illustrated introduction to Wroclaw and the University.
The programme then continued throughout the Congress period, according to the planned schedule with the plenary speakers: Profs Kaczorek and Sifeng Liu.
Announcements and presentations of WOSC Awards
The presentation was held at the Welcome Reception in the historic hall of the main university building.
Professor Rudall welcomed all participants and said that he had two announcements. He spoke about the award of the Norbert Wiener Memorial Gold Medal to Dr Alex. M. Andrew and that the medal was only rarely given. It was awarded for scholarship and service to the cybernetics and systems communities. All present welcomed the award and applauded the recipient – Dr Andrew.
The framed certificate of the Gold Medal Award was then displayed on the main reception centre piece, The gold medal will be Awarded to Dr Andrew at a future date and venue.
In the absence of Professor Haken, a citation was read about his well-known achievements and contributions to Systems and Cybernetics.
It was announced that Professor Haken would be invited to accept the award of “Honorary Fellow of WOSC” and that the framed certificate and this citation would be sent to him with greetings from the President and officers of WOSC.
Professor Jerzy Józefcyk was then asked to accept the Honorary Fellowship of WOSC. Professor Rudall spoke of his contributions to the fields of systems and cybernetics, and particularly, on this occasion thanked him again, for the enormous amount of work he had put into organising the Congress. Professor Józefcyk responded and thanked WOSC for this honour which he said was also in recognition of the labours of his colleagues (Figure 2).
The three WOSC Awards were then displayed on the main area of the reception for all to appreciate.
Congress social events
A most elaborate and well-presented display of Polish cuisine awaited participants at the Congress Banquet held at the Spiz restaurant in the Market Square of Wroclaw. It took place in an informal fashion, but even so, a toast was proposed to Poland and to our hosts. The event was most appreciated and in a typically Polish venue and with their renowned hospitality.
These were most stimulating and worthwhile in the main although some, presenters, however relied too heavily on a “laptop” centered format. A point to be noted for future events. The concept of the “Round Table” was well received and provided some of the most spirited discussions. Again, this method of stimulating discussions should be continued in future congresses.
Some of the later sessions concerning Grey Systems were cancelled because of the non-appearance of the scheduled speakers. Delegates held informal meetings throughout the Congress and research and development contacts firmly established (Figure 3).
Closing ceremony and awards for papers
The Kybernetes Research Awards were presented by the Editor-in-Chief, Professor Rudall. The Congress Organising Committee honoured young scientists and the awards were given by Professor Józefczyk (Figure 4). A bouquet of flowers was presented to those who had so enthusiastically manned the Congress Desk WOSC is also to send a book donation to the IISE Library of the University.
The closing address was given by the WOSC Vice-President who-said that it had been one of the most successful congresses and asked that the University Rector be informed of our thanks for the warm hospitality of our hosts. All present echoed these sentiments and applauded our hosts and in particular, Professor Józefzyk, his colleagues and all the Congress support staff. (The list of award winners is included in Appendix 4.)
In answer to participants’ questions about the next congress, it was stated that it would take at least 12 months to consider invitations and that participants would be informed.
The Congress papers were reviewed by the organisation and in the main were of a very good standard. Some, however, could have been revised and made more succinct. The session chairmen were knowledgeable and led the post-presentation discussions in a sensitive and productive manner. Some very direct comments were made in a few sessions about the rigidity of the mathematics used in some presentations. Particular questions, for example, were asked about Grey Systems, which were rebuffed by the presenters.
Round table/poster sessions
Four meetings were organised; Science-Religion dialogue/, Human Machine Interface subjects/, Creative Partnership/, Kant, Godel and contemporary Society/, each versus(A) Symmmetry. The levels of these sessions were enhanced by the presence or Professor Wojciech Gasparski, Professor Nicolus Buliz and others who conducted some excellent and stimulating discussions.
The Poster Sessions were open ones and participants included many original contributions.
Publication of contributions
There is no doubt that the material presented, when suitably updated, will make an excellent Special Double Issue of Kybernetes (and possibly some papers may go to Systems Science). Professor Jerzy Józefczyk has accepted the publishers invitation to be the Guest Editor of this special compilation of contributions.
It was an excellent congress well organised and all participants seemed to enjoy the atmosphere and wished to attend the next! It was referred by some as the “happy inspirational congress” – and I believe that it did a great deal for the image of WOSC. All regretted the absence of Professor Vallee and Dr Andrew and many good wishes were sent to both.
Appendix 1Welcome address – Professor B.H. Rudall, Vice-President of the WOSC
The President, Vice-President, The Director-General and the Directorate of WOSC warmly welcome you to this the 14th International Congress of WOSC.
WOSC is an organisation of over 50 federated organisations, institutions and societies from all over the world. We are particularly pleased that we meet here in Poland, for the first time, and we would thank our hosts the Wroclaw University of Technology for their kind invitation to come to Wroclaw. In particular, we would thank the IISE in the Faculty of Computer Science and Management.
In welcoming all participants, we would wish to recognise the enormous efforts of our Co-President, Professor Jerzy Jószefczyk and his colleagues of the organising committee in their preparation of this Congress.
At this Congress, we commemorate those who have contributed to WOSC’s success and who have contributed to the advancement of systems and cybernetics. We have in mind at this time, Professor John Rose, the Founder of WOSC and, of course, here in Poland the work of Professor Zdzislaw Bubnicki.
Whilst welcoming all participants, we would wish to extend a special welcome to the young scientists amongst us. This Congress provides, today, as in the previous 13 congresses, a wonderful opportunity to intermingle and network with ones contemporaries. We all understand that often more lasting contacts are made outside the sessions than in them! It is easy to forget that cybernetics and systems are both interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary. The arranged programme allows for parallel sessions so we can each choose carefully our own path through the congress. But, we should attempt to attend those sessions that are not concerned solely with our special interest so that we can appreciate the extensive transfer of cybernetic methodologies to an ever widening range of applications. This experience is more formative than many realise.
In this international conference, we follow in the foot steps of those leading figures who have greatly influenced our thinking – from our President in memoriam Norbert Wiener to the present day. We must note the recent contributions made at previous WOSC Congresses, such as those by Ashby, Walter, Beer, Pask Prigoni, and many others. The history of cybernetics and systems makes a fascinating study and we should note that amongst so many planned sessions in the programme there those devoted to the history of these fields.
It is indeed, therefore worth asking you to look around for amongst us here are the successors of these leading figures. “Cometh the hour – cometh the man or woman” truly expresses the state of our endeavours today.
Finally, we wish everyone here today a stimulating, enjoyable and worthwhile congress. We are sure, that what will be known as the “Wroclaw Congress”, will be seen to be one of our most successful triennial events.
Appendix 2Co-presidents – congress welcome
The 14th International Congress of Cybernetics and Systems of the WOSC will take place in Wroclaw, Poland, during 9-12 September 2008. The triennial international congresses, as the most prestigious meetings of WOSC, have a long and rich tradition:
1st Congress, 1969: London (UK).
2nd Congress, 1972: Oxford (UK).
3rd Congress, 1975: Bucharest (Romania).
4th Congress, 1978: Amsterdam (The Netherlands).
5th Congress, 1981: Mexico City (Mexico).
6th Congress, 1984: Paris (France).
7th Congress, 1987: London (UK).
8th Congress, 1990: New York City (USA).
9th Congress, 1993: New Delhi (India).
10th Congress, 1996: Bucharest (Romania).
11th Congress, 1999: London (UK).
12th Congress, 2002: Pittsburgh (USA).
13th Congress, 2005: Maribor (Slovenia)
The Wroclaw University of Technology highly appreciates the chance to host the International Congress of WOSC. The Wroclaw Congress is co-organised by WOSC and the IISE as well as the Faculty of Computer Science and Management of Wroclaw University of Technology.
This event is aimed at providing an open forum in which researchers coming from different scientific disciplines and research areas can discuss and share their experience regarding methodological approaches and application areas of cybernetics and systems. The contributions received from more than 200 authors span a broad range of methodological approaches such as systems theory, systems modelling, uncertain systems, economic systems, control systems, information and communication systems, Knowledge systems, manufacturing and transportation systems, education and history of cybernetics and systems.
Over 100 delegates from 24 countries (including countries of Europe and Asia as well as North and South America) will attend the Congress. We thank them and all the authors, as well as the Honorary Committee members and our sponsors. We are also grateful to those who acted as reviewers for the proceedings, thus helping to increase the quality of the contributions.
We hope the Congress will constitute an important step forward in the development of cybernetics and systems as a broad scientific domain and in establishing scientific links between all the researchers taking part in it.
We feel sure that you will enjoy your time in Poland and it has been our pleasure to welcome you to Wroclaw – “the meeting place”. We trust that you will leave the Congress with plenty of new ideas and knowledge to support your professional work and friendship.
Wroclaw, September 2008:
Robert Vallée (President of WOSC).
Alex Andrew (Director-General of WOSC).
Brian Rudall (Vice-President of WOSC).
Jerzy Józefczyk (Director of IISE).
Appendix 3Greetings to the Congress
Personal greetings were received from: the WOSC President, Professor Robert Vallée “I wish the greatest success to the 14th International Congress of Cybernetics and Systems of WOSC … ”
Dr Alex M. Andrew (Director-General of WOSC):
I send my greetings and best wishes for the Fourteenth International Congress of WOSC in the historic surroundings of Wroclaw. The programme and arrangements have been set up by Professor Jerzy Jozefczyk and his helpers and I need hardly say that this has been a mammoth task. We are also indebted to the authors of papers for their efforts and all participants for their interest and support. I am confident that everything is in place for a Congress that will be enjoyable and profitable. I am sorry that I am not appearing in person, because of temporary health problem that make it inadvisable for me to travel […]
Dr Andrew’s greetings were introduced by Professor Józefczyk in a “PowerPoint” presentations in which he also expressed his disappointment that Professor Hermann Haken could not give a plenary address. He also paid tribute to the enormous contributions of Professor Zdzislaw Bubnicki who would have been the organiser except for his untimely death in March 2006. It is also, he said, the first WOSC Congress since the death of the Founder of W0SC, Professor John Rose, in August 2007. “It is time”, he continued “to build on their foundations and to say ‘On with the show’”.
Appendix 414th International Congress of Cybernetics and Systems of WOSC14th International Congress of WOSC – Congress Awards-2008
Kybernetes Research Award (outstanding paper):
Dorota Bors and Marek Majewski. “On the controllability to the interval of the system governed by a hyperbolic equation”.
Kybernetes Research Awards (highly commended paper):
Pasqual Francesc Esteve-Calvo and Miguel Lloret-Climent. “Turbulences as an example of disorder in systems-linkage”.
Gonçalo Furtado. “Gordon Past Exchanges between cybernetics and architecture and the envisioning of the informational environment”.
Gary Boyd and Wojciech Jawoiski. “Effective learning and efficient production through modelling, simulation and three types of conversation”.
(Details of the awards are given in Kybernetes, Vol. 37 No. 8, 2008, p. 1199).
Organising committee awards (best presentations by young scientists):
Jernej Belak for the presentation of the paper “Life cycle stage and enterprise ethical climate case of Slovenian enterprises” by Jernej Belak, Matjaz Mulej.
Gintautas Narvydas for the presentation of the paper “Expert guided autonomous, mobile robot learning” by Gintautas Narvydas, Vidas Raudonis, Rimvydas Simutis.
Anna Pakshina for the presentation of the paper “The research of the young genius’s phenomenon”.
Julia Pakshina for the presentation of the paper “The scientific predictions of Vladimir Odoevsky and web-technologies”.
Systems, Systemics, 3rd International Heinz von Foerster-Congress
The Heinz von Foerster Congress 2007 was held at the University of Vienna from November 16 to 19. Special sections were devoted to Ernst von Glasersfeid and the late Gordon Pask, Professor Glasersfeid was not able to participate due to an illness.
The Inauguration Ceremony involved Karl Mueller and Thomas von Foerster, It was followed by “Authors meet critics”, a podium with Richard Jung, Ranulpgh Glanvilie, Andreas Hirseland, Alexander Riegler et al. The same day the opening of the Gordon Pask Archives was commented by Albert Mueller (Head of the Institut fur Zeitgeschichte), Ranulph Glanvilie, Amando Heitler, Suzanne Kratochwil, Michael Schwarz. A plenary lecture was given by Peter Krieg on Sunday 18.On the last day, a workshop on “Language and Accountability-Reconstructing its origins-Reconsidering its cybernetics” was chaired by Pilie Bunnell and Klaus Krippendorff. The American Society for Cybernetics was presented by Louis H. Kaufman.
Sessions on Gordon Pask consisted in contributions of Ranulph Grandville, Paul Pangaro, Bernard Scott, Gerard de Zeeuw, those on Ernst von Glasersfeld in communications of Marie Larochefle, Jacques Desautels, Michael Tomasello, Marco Bettoni, Willibaid Doerfer, Hans Rudi Fischer, Dewey I. Dykstra Jr, Theo Hug, Vincent Kenny, Alexander Riegler, Walter S.A, Schwaiger, Thomas Himmelfreundpointer, Paul Weston, Paul Schroeder, Alfred Iselberg, Mathias Kross, Karl H. Mueller.
The sessions on “Systems, Systemics” involved many participants: Walter Grasnick, Bernhard Porksen, Hans-Herbert Koegler, Krzystof Abriszewski, Marco Lehmann-Waffenschmidt, Urban Kordes, Sibylle Moser, Katharina Gsoellpointer, Soeren Brier, Richard Jung, Peter M. Hejl, Robert Vallee, Gerhard Groessing, Peter Gasser-Steiner, Umberta Telfener, Adrian Lucas, Ernst Weichselbaum, Wolfgang Neurath, Karl H. Mueller, Peter Fleissner, Guenther Haag, Pile Bunnell, Klaus Krippendorff, Lucas Pawlik, Stuart Umpleby, Tatyana A. Medvedeva, Christian K. Mang.
An official cocktail took place on Friday at the City Hall of Vienna.
Robert ValléeProfessor emeritus Universite Paris-Nord