Select Recent Papers and Reports

by Bruce J. MacLennan

See my Research Page for additional information on my research programme and for papers more than ten years old.
  1. “Swarms of microscopic agents self-assemble into complex bodies,” LINKs, in press, 2020.

  2. “Mapping the Territory of Computation Including Embodied Computation,” in Andrew Adamatzky (Ed.), Alternative Computing (tentative title), World Scientific, in press, 2020.

  3. Bruce J. MacLennan and Allen C. McBride, “Swarm Intelligence for Morphogenetic Engineering,” in Andrew Schumann (Ed.), Swarm Intelligence: From Social Bacteria to Human Beings, Taylor & Francis / CRC, in press, 2020. [ArXiv preprint (pdf): Aug. 13, 2019.]

  4. “Topographic Representation for Quantum Machine Learning,” Siddhartha Bhattacharyya, Indrajit Pan, Ashish Mani, Sourav De, Elizabeth Behrman, Susanta Chakraborti  (Eds.), Quantum Machine Learning, Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2020, ch. 2, pp. 11–37. [ArXiv preprint (pdf): Oct. 13, 2018, revised Jan. 17, 2019.]
  5. “A Morphogenetic Program for Path Formation by Continuous Flocking,” International Journal of Unconventional Computing, 14 (2019), pp. 91–119. [preprint (pdf)]

  6. Chengrui Li and Bruce J. MacLennan, “Continuous-Time Systems for Solving 0-1 Integer Linear Programming Feasibility Problems,” May 12, 2019.
  7. Philosophia Naturalis Rediviva: Natural Philosophy for the Twenty-first Century,” in special issue, “Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies,” Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 38; .

  8. “Continuum Mechanics for Coordinating Massive Microrobot Swarms: Self-assembly through Artificial Morphogenesis,” in D. Zhang & B. Wei (Eds.), Novel Design and Applications of Robotics Technologies, IGI Global, 2019,  ch. 4, pp. 96–133. [preprint (pdf)]

  9. “Coordinating Swarms of Microscopic Agents to Assemble Complex Structures,” Ying Tan (Ed.),  Swarm Intelligence, Vol. 1: Principles, Current Algorithms and Methods (PBCE119), ch. 20, pp. 583–612, IET (The Institution of Engineering and Technology), 2018. [preprint (pdf)]
  10. “The Synmac Syntax Macroprocessor: Introduction and Manual, Version 5” (2018). Faculty Publications and Other Works — EECS.
  11. “Could Robots Feel Pain? How Can We Know?” in Steve Thompson (Ed.), Androids, Cyborgs, and Robots in Contemporary Culture and Society, ch. 7, pp. 151–175, IGI Global, 2018. [preprint (pdf)]

  12. “Analog Computation,” Encyclopedia of Complexity and System Science, ed. by Robert A. Meyers et al., Springer, 2017, 1–32. Revision of earlier article.

  13. Andrew Adamatzky, Selim Akl, Mark Burgin, Cristian S. Calude, José Félix Costa, Mohammad Mahdi Dehshibi, Yukio-Pegio Gunji, Zoran Konkoli, Bruce MacLennan, Bruno Marchal, Maurice Margenstern, Genaro J. Martínez, Richard Mayne, Kenichi Morita, Andrew Schumann, Yaroslav D. Sergeyev, Georgios Ch. Sirakoulis, Susan Stepney, Karl Svozil, Hector Zenil. “East-West Paths to Unconventional Computing,” Progress in Biophysics & Molecular Biology, Dec. 2017, 469–493.

  14. “Benefits of Embodiment,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 40 (2017), e271, published online Nov. 10, 2017.

  15. “Field Computation: A Framework for 
Quantum-Inspired Computing,” in Siddhartha Bhattacharyya, Ujjwal Maulik, and Paramartha Dutta (Eds.), Quantum Inspired Computational Intelligence: Research and Applications, Cambridge, MA: Morgan Kaufmann / Elsevier, 2017, ch. 3, pp. 85–110. [preprint (pdf)]

  16. “Physical and Formal Aspects of Computation: Exploiting
 Physics for Computation and Exploiting Computation for Physical Purposes,” in Andy Adamatzky (Ed.), Advances in Unconventional Computing, Vol. 1: Theory, Springer, 2017, ch. 5, pp. 117–140. [preprint (pdf)]

  17. “Neural Networks, Learning Algorithms, and Intelligence,” in Gordon Burghardt, Irene Pepperberg, Chuck Snowdon, & Tom Zentall (Eds.), APA Handbook of Comparative Psychology, Vol. I, pp. 579–597, 2017.
  18. “Engineering Inspiration: Enhancing Scientific Creativity through Image Flows,” in Andrew M. Connor and Stefan Marks (Eds.), Creative Technologies for Multidisciplinary Applications, Hershey: IGI Global, 2016, ch. 13, pp. 309–333. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0016-2.ch013. [preprint (pdf)]
  19. Mahoor, Z., MacLennan, B., and MacBride, A. “Neurally plausible motor babbling in robot reaching,” in 6th International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics, September 19–22, 2016, Cergy-Pontoise / Paris.

  20. Brasford, David, Smith, Jared M., Connor, R. Joseph, MacLennan, Bruce J., Holleman, Jeremy. “The Impact of Analog Computational Error on an Analog Boolean Satisfiability Solver,” IEEE International Symposium for Circuits and Systems 2016, Montreal, Canada, May 22–25, 2016.
  21. “Ancient Intuition — Modern Science,” in Andrea Blackie & John H. Spencer (Eds.), The Beacon of Mind: Reason and Intuition in the Ancient and Modern World, Param Media, 2015, pp. 219–235.
  22. “Living Science: Science as an Activity of Living Beings,” Progress in Biophysics & Molecular Biology, Special issue on Life Sciences, Mathematics, and Phenomenological Philosophy, 119, 3, (2015), 410–419, published online Aug. 11, 2015. DOI: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2015.08.009. [preprint (pdf)]
  23. “The Morphogenetic Path to Programmable Matter,” Proceedings of the IEEE, 103, 7 (July 2015), 1226–1232. DOI: 10.1109/JPROC.2015.2425394 [preprint (pdf)]

  24. “Coordinating Massive Robot Swarms,” International Journal of Robotics Applications and Technologies, 2, 2 (July-December 2014), 1–19. Appeared in print in July 2015. DOI: 10.4018/IJRAT.2014070101 [preprint (pdf)]

  25. “Cognitive Modeling: Connectionist Approaches,” in James D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 4. Oxford: Elsevier, 2015, pp. 84–89. New edition of previous article.

  26. “Ethical Treatment of Robots and the Hard Problem of Robot Emotions,” International Journal of Synthetic Emotions, 5 (2014), 1, pp. 10–18. Special issue, “Introduction to Turing, Part I.” DOI: 10.4018/ijse.2014010102

  27. “The Promise of Analog Computation,” International Journal of General Systems, 43 (2014), 7, pp. 682–696, DOI: 10.1080/03081079.2014.920997

  28. “Field Computation in Natural and Artificial Intelligence,” Encyclopedia of Complexity and System Science, 2nd Ed., ed. by Robert A. Meyers et al., Springer, 2015. Revision of earlier article.

  29. “Cognition in Hilbert Space,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36 (2013), 3, pp. 296–7. DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X1200283X

  30. “Embodied Computation: Applying the Physics of Computation to Artificial Morphogenesis,” Parallel Processing Letters, 22, 3 (2012), p. 1240013. DOI: 10.1142/S0129626412400130

  31. Stepney, S., Diaconescu, A., Doursat, R., Giavitto, J.-L., Kowaliw, T., Leyser, O., MacLennan, B., Michel, O., Miller, J. F., Nikolic, I., Spicher, A., Teuscher, C., Tufte, G., Vico, F. J. & Yamamoto, L. (2012). “Gardening Cyber-Physical Systems.” In Unconventional Computation and Natural Computation 2012, Orleans, France, September 2012. LNCS 7445, pp. 237–238. Springer, 2012.

  32. “Homunculus’ Quest for a Body,” Goethe’s Faust and Cultural Memory: Comparatist Interfaces, edited by Lorna Fitzsimmons. Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh University Press, 2012.

  33. “Molecular Coordination of Hierarchical Self-Assembly,” invited for Nano Communication Networks Journal, available online 7 February 2012. DOI: 10.1016/j.nancom.2012.01.004. See also “Molecular Coordination of Hierarchical Self-Assembly,” Technical Report UT-CS-10-662, Nov. 15, 2010 [pdf].

  34. Embodied Computation: Applying the Physics of Computation to Artificial Morphogenesis,” Proceedings of the Satellite Workshops of UC 2011, TUCS Lecture Notes No. 14, June 2011, pp. 9–20.
  35. “Artificial Morphogenesis as an Example of Embodied Computation,” International Journal of Unconventional Computing 7, 1–2 (2011), pp. 3–23. [corrected proof]
  36. “Introduction: Computation and Nanotechnology,” Theoretical and Technological Advancements in Nanotechnology and Molecular Computation: Interdisciplinary Gains, Hershey, NJ: IGI Global, 2011. 

  37. “Protophenomena and their Physical Correlates,” invited for Journal of Cosmology, 14 (April–May, 2011), pp. 4516–4525. Special issue on consciousness edited by Sir Roger Penrose, FRS, University of Oxford, and Stuart Hameroff, M.D.
    <>. Reprinted in Consciousness and the Universe: Quantum Physics, Evolution, Brain & Mind, ed. Roger Penrose & Stuart Hameroff, Cosmology Science Publishers, 2011.

  38. “A Formal Model of Universal Algorithmic Assembly and Molecular Computation,” Int’l. Journ. Nanotechnology and Molecular Computation 2, 3 (July–Sept. 2010), pp. 55–67. [proof copy]

  39. “Morphogenesis as a Model for Nano Communication,” invited for Nano Communication Networks Journal 1, 3 (2010), 199–208. [pdf] doi:10.1016/j.nancom.2010.09.007
  40. “Bodies — Both Informed and Transformed: Embodied Computation and Information Processing,” Information and Computation: Essays on Scientific and Philosophical Understanding of Foundations of Information and Computation, ed. by Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic and Mark Burgin, World Scientific Series in Information Studies, Vol. 2, Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2011, pp. 225–253. Invited. [pdf]. 
  41. “The U-machine: A Model of Generalized Computation,” International Journal of Unconventional Computing 6, 3–4 (2010), pp. 265–283. [pdf

  42. “Models and Mechanisms for Artificial Morphogenesis,” Natural Computing, Springer series, Proceedings in Information and Communications Technology (PICT) 2, ed. by F. Peper, H. Umeo, N. Matsui, and T. Isokawa, Tokyo: Springer, 2010, pp. 23–33. Invited. Preprint [pdf]. 
  43. “Models and Mechanisms for Artificial Morphogenesis,” Fourth International Workshop on Natural Computing (IWNC 2009), Himeji Japan, September 23–25, 2009. Slides [pdf] for invited presentation.  
  44. “Configuration and Reconfiguration of Complex Systems by Artificial Morphogenesis,” Reconfigurable Systems Workshop 2009: Discovery Challenge Thrust, Santa Fe NM, July 20–22, 2009. Sponsored for AFOSR. Slides for invited presentation [pdf]. 
  45. “A Model of Embodied Computation for Artificial Morphogenesis,” slides [pdf] for Keynote Address, IEEE Alife 2009, Mar. 30 – Apr. 2, 2009, Nashville, TN. A video of this presentation is available (scroll down). 
  46. “A Model of Embodied Computation Oriented Toward Artificial Morphogenesis,” slides [pdf] for invited talk, The Science and Philosophy of Unconventional Computing (SPUC09), Mar. 23–25, 2009, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK. They are mostly the same as slides 26–60 of the Alife 2009 Keynote. 
  47. “Super-Turing or Non-Turing? Extending the Concept of Computation,” The International Journal of Unconventional Computing 5, 3–4 (2009), Special Issue on Future Trends in Hypercomputation, pp. 369–87. Unedited draft [pdf].
  48. “Editorial Preface: Computation and Nanotechnology,” International Journal of Nanotechnology and Molecular Computation 1, 1 (Jan. 2009).  An unedited draft of some material for this preface is in “Computation and Nanotechnology: Toward the Fabrication of Complex Hierarchical Structures,” UT EECS Dept. TR UT-CS-08-629, Aug. 22, 2008 [pdf].

  49. “Challenges of Embodied Artificial Intelligence and Robotics,” invited for The ITEA Journal of Test and Evaluation (International Test and Evaluation Association), 29-4 (Dec. 2008 / Jan. 2009).  See also “Test and Evaluation Challenges of Embodied Artificial Intelligence and Robotics,” UT EECS Dept. TR UT-CS-08-628, Aug. 22, 2008 [pdf].
  50. “A Protophenomenological Analysis of Synthetic Emotion in Robots,” UT EECS Dept. TR UT-CS-08-623, Aug. 6, 2008 [pdf].  Unedited draft of “Robot React, but Can They Feel?” (Handbook of Research on Synthetic Emotions and Sociable Robotics: New Applications in Affective Computing and Artificial Intelligence, edited by Jordi Vallverdú and David Casacuberta, Hershey, NJ: IGI Global, 2009, pp. 133–53).

  51. “Aspects of Embodied Computation: Toward a Reunification of the Physical and the Formal,” UT EECS Dept. TR UT-CS-08-610, March 6, 2008; revised Aug. 6, 2008 [pdf].  See also slides [pdf] from a related presentation “Embodiment and Non-Turing Models of Computation” at The 2008 North American Conference on Computing and Philosophy: The Limits of Computation (The International Association for Computing and Philosophy, Bloomington, IN, July 10–12, 2008). 

  52. “Embodied Computing,” invitation-only NSF Workshop on Molecular Communication and Biological Communications Technology, Arlington, VA, Feb. 20–1, 2008. Slides for presentation [pdf]

  53. “Aesthetics in Software Engineering,” Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, 2nd  Ed., ed. by Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, IGI Global, 2008, Vol. I.

  54. “Field Computation in Natural and Artificial Intelligence,” Encyclopedia of Complexity and System Science, ed. by Robert A. Meyers et al., Springer, 2009, part 6, entry 199, pp. 3334–3360. 10.1007/978-0-387-30440-3_199. <>  An unedited draft is available as “A Review of Field Computation,” UT EECS Dept. TR UT-CS-07-606, Oct. 31, 2007.  [pdf]

  55. “Analog Computation,” invited by Section Editor for Unconventional Computing, Encyclopedia of Complexity and System Science, ed. by Robert A. Meyers et al., Springer, 2009, part 1, entry 19, pp. 271–294. DOI 10.1007/978-0-387-30440-3_19.  <>  An unedited draft is available as “A Review of Analog Computing,” UT EECS Dept. TR-CS-07-601, Sept. 13, 2007. [pdf]  

  56. “Evolutionary Psychology, Complex Systems, and Social Theory,” Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. XC, No. 3–4 (Fall/Winter 2007), pp. 169–89.  Extended, unedited draft [pdf].

  57. “Consciousness: Natural and Artificial,” Synthesis Philosophica 22, 2 (2008), pp. 401–33. Invited for special issue on consciousness. [pdf]

  58. “Protophenomena: The Elements of Consciousness and their Relation to the Brain,” invited for Irreducibly Conscious: Selected Papers on Consciousness, ed. by Alexander Batthyány, Avshalom Elitzur & Dimitri Constant, Heidelberg & New York: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2008, ch. X (pp. 189–214). [pdf]

  59. “Self-Organization for Nano-Computation and Nano-Assembly,” Workshop on Emergent Behavior (WEB 07), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, March 6–7, 2007.  Slides for presentation [pdf]

  60. “Highly Programmable Matter & Generalized Computation: Research in Reconfigurable Analog & Digital Computation in Bulk Materials,” 1st AFRL Reconfigurable Systems Workshop, Air Force Research Laboratory, Albuquerque, NM, Feb. 14–15, 2007.  Slides for presentation [pdf]

Bruce MacLennan /
Last updated: 2020-12-09.

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