ANTIFRAGILE 2017 - the 4th International Workshop on Computational Antifragility and Antifragile Engineering

in the framework of the 8th International Conference on Ambient Systems, Networks and Technologies (ANT-2017),
May 16-19, 2017, Madeira, Portugal

Resilience is one of those "general systems attributes" that appear to play a central role in several disciplines - including ecology, business, psychology, industrial safety, microeconomics, computer networks, security, management science, cybernetics, control theory, crisis and disaster management. Resilience thus seems to be "needed" everywhere; and yet, even in the framework of a same discipline, it is not easy to define it precisely and consensually. One attempt to define resilience is the one that relates it to Aristotelian entelechy: a system that is resilient is one that
"is-at-work to stay-the-same".
Engineering a resilient system thus means designing a system that adapts its function and structure though preserving its identity. In the context of computer systems, system identity is the set of functional and non-functional properties that are to characterize the system given the specifications of that system.

If we define resilience as above, it is easier to understand what is Antifragility, the concept recently highlighted by Professor Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book. Antifragility is the property of a system that

"is-at-work to get better",
meaning that an antifragile system autonomosly adapts its function, structure, and identity, in order to systematically improve its system-environment fit. An antifragile system is thus one that may sacrifice some of its peculiar characteristics (at least, peculiar with reference to its specification!) so long as it matches better with the conditions timely expressed by its deployment environment. It is a system able to take autonomic decisions as to its own adaptation and evolution.

As explained, e.g., in this article by Dr. Kennie H. Jones of NASA/Langley, the engineering of antifragile computer-based systems is a challenge that, once met, would allow systems and ambients to self-evolve and self-improve by learning from accidents and mistakes in a way not dissimilar to that of human beings. Learning how to design and craft antifragile systems is an extraordinary challenge whose tackling is likely to reverberate on many a computer engineering field. New methods, programming languages, even custom platforms will have to be designed. The expected returns are extraordinary as well: antifragile computer engineering promises to enable realizing truly autonomic systems and ambients able to meta-adapt to changing circumstances; to self-adjust to dynamically changing environments and ambients; to self-organize so as to track dynamically and proactively optimal strategies to sustain scalability, high-performance, and energy efficiency; to personalize their aspects and behaviors after each and every user. And to learn how to get better while doing it.

Building on top of the very positive responses of the last two years, enriched by the participation of Professor Taleb and Dr. Kennie H. Jones who kindly provided their keynote speeches, this third edition of ANTIFRAGILE aims to further enhance the awareness of the challenges of antifragile engineering and to continue the initiated discussion on how computer and software engineering may address them. As a design aspect cross-cutting through all system and communication layers, antifragile engineering calls for multi-disciplinary visions and approaches able to bridge the gaps between “distant” research communities so as to
  • propose novel solutions to design, develop, and evaluate antifragile systems and ambients;
  • devise computational models and paradigms for antifragile engineering;
  • provide analytical and simulation models and tools to measure a system's ability to withstand faults, adjust to new environments, and enhance their identity and resilience in the process;
  • foster the exchange of ideas and promote discussions able to steer future research and development efforts in the area of computational antifragility.

The main topics of the workshop include, but are not limited to:

    -Conceptual frameworks for antifragile systems, ambients, and behaviours;
    -Dependability, resilience, and antifragile requirements and open issues;
    -Design principles, models, and techniques for realizing antifragile systems and behaviours;
    -Frameworks and techniques enabling resilient and antifragile applications;
    -Discussion and analysis if antifragile applications;
    -Antifragile human-machine interaction;
    -End-to-end approaches towards antifragile services;
    -Autonomic antifragile behaviours;
    -Middleware architectures and mechanisms for resilience and antifragility;
    -Theoretical foundation of resilient and antifragile behaviours;
    -Formal methods for resilience and antifragility;
    -Programming language support for resilience and antifragility;
    -Machine learning as a foundation of resilient and antifragile architectures;
    -Antifragility and resiliency against malicious attacks;
    -Modeling of antifragile systems (e.g., through Petri Nets);
    -Antifragility and the Cloud;
    -Resilience and antifragility in human-computer interaction;
    -Identity drifting in evolving systems (e.g., security aspects);
    -Service Level Agreements for Antifragility;
    -Specification and verification of resilient and antifragile systems;
    -Antifragile and resilient services;
    -Programming language support for antifragility (e.g., via functional languages);
    -Object-oriented design for resilience and antifragility;
    -Aspect-oriented design of resilient and antifragile systems;
    -Models of concurrent behaviors of "parts" leading to antifragile behaviors of the "whole";
    -Safety and security issues with reference to systems able to self-evolve their identity.

    All accepted papers of the previous editions of the workshop are freely available at Procedia Computer Science. A description of two of the papers of the first edition of the workshop, as well as their presentations, are available at this page. For more information about computational antifragility, please consider visiting also the LinkedIn group on Computational Antifragility at this page.

    ANTIFRAGILE is this year co-located with the 8th International Conference on Ambient Systems, Networks and Technologies, May 16-19, 2017, Madeira, Portugal

    All ANT-2017 accepted papers (thus including the ANTIFRAGILE 2017 papers) will be published by Elsevier Science in the open-access Procedia Computer Science series on-line. Procedia Computer Sciences is hosted on and on Elsevier content platform ScienceDirect (, and will be freely available worldwide. All papers in Procedia will be indexed by Scopus ( and by Thomson Reuters' Conference Proceeding Citation Index The papers will contain linked references, XML versions and citable DOI numbers. You will be able to provide a hyperlink to all delegates and direct your conference website visitors to your proceedings. All accepted papers will also be indexed in DBLP (

    Selected papers will be invited for publication in special issues of international journals.

    Submissions are managed with the kind support of EasyChair through the following page:

    Paper size is limited to 6 pages. Two additional pages may be added for a price. Please refer to the pages of ANT 2017 for more detail on this.

    For any further information, please do not hesitate to contact the Chairs: Mohamed Bakhouya (mohamed.bakhouya at and Vincenzo De Florio (vincenzo.deflorio at