Call for Abstracts - IGU 2022 Session: "Complex Systems Modelling - The Evolution from Where to How"

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Call for abstracts - IGU 2022 Session: "Complex Systems Modelling - The Evolution from Where to How"

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to participate and present in our session titled “Complex Systems Modelling – The Evolution from Where to How” at the International Geographical Union (IGU)’s Centennial Congress, which will be held on 18-22 July 2022 in Paris and online. Please see session description and participation information below.

Session: Complex Systems Modelling – The Evolution from Where to How

Abstract submission: by 18 January 2022 (through IGU website)

(Université de Montréal) Session organizers: Liliana Perez (Chair) (, Saeed Harati Asl (, and Rodolphe Gonzalès (

Session Description: During the early 80’s a group of senior physicists gathered to discuss the launching of the “Science of Complexity”, which was regarded as a comprehensive theory of all complex adaptive systems. To date, several researchers agree that the study of complex systems encompasses an interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral association of subfields, with the aim of modelling natural and social “complex systems,” namely combinations of heterogeneous elements whose interactions produce emergent properties. To examine and understand complex systems’ emergent properties mathematical and computational approaches such as agent-based models, network simulations, cellular automata, genetic algorithms, Big Data statistics, etc. have been used. While traditional approaches to modelling aim to get the present right and are then used to predict the future, complex systems models can seldom predict the present absolutely and thus the aim changes to explore an assortment of possible presents and/or futures". Simulation enables such models to generate different outcomes, which under some circumstances might appear to be different futures but really define a space of different model outcomes. This is perceived unquestionably in the current practice of constructing ‘what if’ scenarios which now dominate all model-building.

Almost forty years after the first consensual idea about the science of complexity we would like to invite papers, for oral presentation, from geographers that work towards understanding the complexities and dynamics of social-ecological systems under the lenses of different methodological approaches such as agent-based modelling (ABM), cellular automata (CA), network theory, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), amongst others

The topics could include:

1.      Multi-scale interactions in geographic complex phenomena

2.      Big data analytics integrated with complexity theories

3.      Spatiotemporal analysis in complexity theories

4.      Dynamic geo-social network analysis

5.      New approaches to validate modelled patterns or processes with real-time data

6.      Virtual reality and the visualization and communication of complex models’ output

7.      Gamification as a mean to validate agent-based models

8.      Synthetic population generation algorithms for agent-based model simulations

9.      Machine learning applications to support and complement agent-based modelling

10.    Hybrid intelligent models -integration of AI and ABMs

If you are interested in participating in this session, please submit your presentation title and abstract through the IGU web portal (https://www.ugiparis2022.orgby January 18, 2022. Due to time constraints of the session, a limited number of abstracts will be selected for presentation. The decision on the selection of abstracts will be communicated to authors on January 31, 2022. The exact date of the session will be announced afterwards. Participation in the session will hopefully be in person at the conference venue (although if travel is restricted a virtual session is possible).

For conference registration details please see the IGU web portal. Questions about the session should be directed to the chair and/or the co-chairs: Liliana Perez (Chair) (, Saeed Harati Asl (, and Rodolphe Gonzalès (

Conference language: Oral presentations (as well as the debates during the sessions) can be delivered in one of the three following languages: English, French or Spanish. However, sessions’ proposals should be submitted in English or in French. Please note that the Congress will not provide simultaneous or consecutive translation during the sessions. The sessions’ organizers will be in charge of the management of the eventual multilingualism of their sessions.