FBTC 2008

From Biology to Concurrency and back

A Satellite Workshop of ICALP 2008

July 12, 2008, Reykjavik, Iceland

Accepted Papers

Scientific Programme

Program Committee

  • Uwe Aickelin (University of Nottingham, UK)
  • Ezio Bartocci (University of Camerino, IT)
  • Chiara Bodei (University of Pisa, IT)
  • Andrea Bracciali (University of Pisa, IT)
  • Nicola Cannata (Co-chair, University di Camerino, IT)
  • Luca Cardelli (Microsoft Research Cambridge, UK)
  • Matteo Cavaliere (Microsoft Research -
    &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp University of Trento CoSBi, IT)
  • Gabriel Ciobanu (Romanian Academy, RO)
  • Federica Ciocchetta (University of Edinburgh, UK)
  • Flavio Corradini (University di Camerino, IT)
  • Mark Daley (University of Western Ontario, CA)
  • Vincent Danos (CNRS, University Paris Diderot, FR)
  • Pierpaolo Degano (University di Pisa, IT)
  • Mark d'Inverno (Goldsmiths College London, UK)
  • Michael Domaratzki (University of Manitoba, CA)
  • Anthony Finkelstein (University College London, UK)
  • Radu Grosu (Stony Brook University, US)
  • Jane Hillston (University of Edinburgh, UK)
  • Anna Ingolfsdottir (Reykjavik University, IS)
  • Mathias John (University of Rostock, DE)
  • Andrea Maggiolo-Schettini (University of Pisa, IT)
  • Vincenzo Manca (University of Verona, IT)
  • Ian McQuillan (University of Saskatchewan, CA)
  • Emanuela Merelli (Co-chair, University di Camerino, IT)
  • Alberto Policriti (University of Udine, IT)
  • Corrado Priami (Microsoft Research -
    &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp University of Trento CoSBi, IT)
  • Alessandro Romanel (Microsoft Research -
    &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp University of Trento CoSBi, IT)
  • Paul Ruet (University of Marseille, FR)
  • Carron Shankland (University of Stirling, UK)
  • Scott Smolka (Stony Brook University, US)
  • Susan Stepney (University of York, UK)
  • Adelinde Uhrmacher (University of Rostock, DE)
  • Irek Ulidowski (Co-chair, University of Leicester, UK)
  • Cristian Versari (University of Bologna, IT)

Invited Speaker

Carolyn Talcott
Computer Science Laboratory
SRI International

Workshop Email

fbtc2008 AT mcs.le.ac.uk

Workshop Organizers

Nicola Cannata
Emanuela Merelli
Department of Mathematics
&nbsp&nbsp and Computer Science
University of Camerino
Via Madonna delle Carceri 9
I-62032 Camerino (MC)

Irek Ulidowski
Department of Computer Science
University of Leicester
University Road
Leicester, LE1 7RH
United Kingdom

Aim: In computational theory, several formal approaches make use of biology as inspiration for the development of problem solving techniques. Most of them are taken from complex, inherently concurrent, systems. Some examples of "biologically inspired computing" are artificial immune systems, cellular automata, genetic algorithms, membrane computing, neural networks, organic computing, swarm intelligence.

On the other hand, concurrency has itself begun to inspire an emerging research area in Biology. Regev and Shapiro coined in 2002 the Cells-as-Computation metaphor as the "much-needed abstraction for biomolecular systems". Computers and biomolecular systems both start from a small set of elementary components from which, layer by layer, more complex entities are constructed with evermore sophisticated functions. In computational systems biology, the abstractions, tools and methods used to specify and study concurrent and distributed systems can therefore be naturally adopted to model and better understand the complex biomolecular systems.

In this workshop we intend to explore this "cross-fertilization" between computational sciences and biology, with a special attention to concurrent models in biology and formal foundations in bio-inspired computing. Concurrency theory permits hypotheses generation and testing. Models can therefore be simulated, analyzed, checked and validated. A growing "arsenal" of theoretical models, logics, and tools for understanding concurrent systems has been developed. We recognize that concurrency permeates not only computer systems but also nature and living organisms. We can find concurrency at the molecular level as well as at those of cells, organs, individuals, communities and ecological systems. Also, biologically inspired computing could benefit from concurrency theory.

Specific topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Biologically inspired developments in concurrency theory
  • Biologically inspired models and software tools for concurrent computation
  • Applications of computer science formalisms with concurrency flavour, such as process algebras, Petri nets, automata, statecharts, rewrite systems, P systems, in systems biology
  • Challenges in compositional modelling of biological systems at different level of detail: molecular, cellular, tissue, organs, organism, community
  • Use of concurrency software tools in the modelling, simulation and analysis of biological systems

History: The first edition of the workshop, FBTC2007, took place in Lisbon on 8 September 2007 as a satellite event of CONCUR 2007. It was organized by Nicola Cannata and Emanuela Merelli. Thirteen papers were submitted, of which ten were selected by the Program Committee to be presented at the workshop. An invited lecture was given by Prof. David Harel, of The Weizmann Institute of Science, titled On the Benefits of Viewing Biological Artifacts as Concurrent Reactive Systems. Approximately thirty participants attended the workshop. The final version of the proceedings will appear as a volume in the ENTCS series.

Paper submission: We solicit unpublished papers reporting on original research on the topics of interest of FBTC workshops. The title and the abstract of each paper should be sent to the email address of the workshop by Wednesday 19 of March, and papers should be submitted via EasyChair by Sunday 30 of March 2008. Prospective authors may need to register with EasyChair first if they do not have an account there yet. Papers should take the form of a pdf file in ENTCS format, whose length should not exceed 15 pages. Please follow the instructions for downloading the correct prentcsmacro.sty file for FBTC 2008. If necessary, detailed proofs of technical results and other additional information can be included in a clearly-labelled "Appendix for referees". This is in addition to 15 pages stated above; and the material may be read at the discretion of the PC but will be included in the final version of the paper. Submissions from the PC members are allowed.

Proceedings: Bound preliminary proceedings will be available at the meeting. The final proceedings of the workshop will appear as a volume in the ENTCS series.

Important (Revised) Dates:

  • Submission of title and abstract: 19 March 2008 (previously 12 March)
  • Submission of paper: 30 March 2008 (previously 19 March)
  • Notification: 12 May 2008
  • Final version: 2 June 2008
  • Workshop: Saturday, 12 July 2008
  • Final ENTCS version: 22 August 2008.


  • Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Camerino, Italy
  • Department of Computer Science, University of Leicester, United Kingdom

Irek Ulidowski, Department of Computer Science, University of Leicester.