Preparing Conference Program Abstracts

In order to provide the conference attendees with a compact and user-friendly set of printed abstracts for each of the formal papers, presentations and poster displays at the World Congress/ISSS meeting, written abstracts must be prepared and submitted separately from the full paper, in accordance with the following guidelines:

Abstracts must be produced in a commonly-used word processing program like Microsoft Word or Word Perfect and must be submitted with both a hard (printed) copy and a 3.5" floppy diskette. Alternatively, a printed copy may be submitted by mail or fax and the electronic version submitted by E-mail. However, if papers are submitted by E-mail, they should be sent as attached files with a description in the body of the message as to what word processing package has been used to create them. The printed copy of the abstract will be used for review and to ensure correct layout. A copy may also be sent to your panel chair.

Use left and right margins of .8 inch (2 cm).

Use 11 point type in Times Roman or a similar font for the headings and 12 point type for the text of the abstract.
The style should conform to the example provided below: (1) First author’s last name in bold face capital letters, followed by initials, plus co-authors’ names in order; (2) skip a line and enter the title of the paper/presentation in bold face capital letters; (3) skip a line and enter the affiliation(s), addresses and e-mail addresses; (4) skip a line and enter the body of the abstract.

At the very end of the abstract, enter in parentheses and bold face type the name, if known to you, of the co-host organization/group, Special Integration Group, or panel to which your paper or presentation has been assigned (or the “poster session”).

Do not include any keywords or references with this abstract; these should be included only with the full paper submission.

Due to space constraints, abstracts must be limited to not more than 300 words. Abstracts which exceed this limit, or which do not conform to the guidelines, will be returned to the presenter for editing.


CORNING, P. A., and Doe, J.


Institute for the Study of Complex Systems, 119 Bryant Street, Suite 212
Palo Alto, CA 94301 USA E-mail:

"Devolution" is a political buzzword these days as empires, nations, bureaucracies and even business-firms collapse, divide, downsize, outsource and in various ways become less than they once were. But what does devolution mean? And how can we measure it? And, most important, how do we explain it? Some years ago it was proposed that synergistic functional effects of various kinds have been the underlying cause of the evolution of complex, teleonomic (purposive) systems at all levels of biological organization, including human cultures. (The term "synergy" refers to otherwise unattainable combined effects that are produced by co-operative interactions among various elements, parts or individuals.) Support for this theory has continued to mount over the past decade or so, and we will briefly review some of the evidence in our formal paper. One important corollary of the theory is the proposition that all teleonomic systems require cybernetic control processes which, in human societies, are typically referred to as management systems, political systems, or governments. In accordance with the synergism hypothesis, it is postulated that the fate of cybernetic control processes is ultimately contingent upon the underlying functional effects that these systems produce; the functional synergies are the very cause of the differential "selection" of complex systems. Can this theory of "government" qua social cybernetics be tested? It is argued here that the phenomena referred to as devolution provide just such an opportunity. Indeed, a causal explanation of political systems should be able to explain not only various "progressive" trends but also the many cases in which "regression" (devolution) or collapse occurs. Several examples of devolution will be analyzed in the this paper. (Evolution and Complexity Special Integration Group)

SPECIAL NOTE: Send abstracts, diskettes and registration materials to the Conference Organizer, Peter Corning (see below for contact information).

Paper Style Guidelines

General Guidelines

Preparation, Length and Printing

A printed (hard) copy of all papers must be submitted along with an electronic submission on a 3.5" diskette. Alternatively a printed copy may be submitted by mail and the electronic version submitted by E-mail. However, if papers are submitted by E-mail, they should be sent as attached files with a description in the body of the message as to what word processing package has been used to create them. The printed copy of the paper will be used for review and to ensure correct layout. The primary author’s last name and page numbers should be written in blue pencil on the lower right hand side of the back of the hard copy of the manuscript. A copy must also be sent to your panel chair.

Disks should be in IBM format; the files should be saved in Microsoft Word format, Version 6 for either Macintosh or Windows machines. Any other word-processing package must be approved by the Program Coordinator prior to submission. Artwork and tables should be pasted into the Word document.

The length of the paper should not exceed 20 pages, including title/summary page and references. Do not start a new page after the title and abstract. Pages must be single spaced. Type on one side only. Skip a single line between paragraphs of text. Do not indent the first line of each paragraph. Paragraphs should be both right and left justified.

Typeface, Paper Size and Margins

The preferred typeface is Times or Times New Roman. The type size should be 12 points. Please use the page set-up command to ensure that your paper is prepared on US LETTER size paper (8-1/2 by 11 inches). Leave one-inch margins at the top and the bottom of the page; 1-1/4 inch on both sides, right and left.


The title should be written on the first line of the first page, centered in upper case bold capital letters, 12 point font. The authors’ names should be centered two lines below the full title in upper and lower case letters. Affiliation and mailing address should follow, centered on separate lines also in upper and lower case letters. Please enter a short running title as the header at the top of each page except the first. This running title should be centered, 1/2 inch from the top of the page in 12 point type in bold upper and lower case letters.

Summary and Keywords

Two lines below the author name and affiliation, start a brief summary as the first paragraph of the paper. You may use your program abstract or a suitable alternative. At the end of the summary, skip a line and then type "Keywords" (underlined) followed by up to five (5) words that describe the focus and contribution of the paper. The summary should follow the title, author’s name, and mailing address on the first page. Skip two lines and then begin the body of the paper (after an Introduction heading, if needed) immediately after the summary.


All major headings are centered in bold. They are to be written in 12 point font. Do not put a period after the text of the heading. Leave two lines above a major heading, and one line before the start of the next paragraph or second-level heading.

Subheadings (Second-level Heading)

Subheadings are flush left, in 12 point type and bold and upper case. There should be one line space before and after this level of heading, as shown in the subheading for this paragraph.

Sub-subheading (third level heading)
Sub-subheadings are flush left, in italics and in 12 point type. There should be one line space before this level of heading, but no line space between this heading and the following paragraph (as illustrated above).


The electronic version of the art should be included on the diskette or E-mail transmittal and incorporated into the word-processing file. Figures should be labeled in the text as "Figure X". Figure captions should be typed directly below the figure, in bold type, upper and lower case, and centered.


Table captions should be centered below the table. Tables should be included in the manuscript proper and referred to in the text as "Table X".

Equation Numbers

When numbering equations, enclose numbers in brackets [ ] and place them flush with the right-hand margin. Refer to them in the text as "Equation [x]".


List bibliographic references at the end of the paper under the major heading "References". List authors alphabetically by the first letter of the first author’s last name. References should be identified in the text of the paper by typing the corresponding name and year in parenthesis. If a page number is used in the text, it should be set as (author, year, page number). Book titles and names of journals should be printed in italics, not underlined. The format for the reference section should be as follows:

Aauthor, A. (1991). Title of Book. New York:XYZ Press.
Bauthor, B., and Aauthor, A. (1995). "Title of Paper," Journal. 3:1-20.
Cauthor, C., Aauthor, A., Bauthor, B., and Jones, G. (1996). "Title of Paper," in Title of Book, (E. Editor, ed.) New York:XYZ Press.
For multiple papers in the same year by the same author:
Bauthor, B., and Aauthor, A. (1995a). "Title of PaperA," Journal. 3:1-20.
Bauthor, B., and Aauthor, A. (1995b). "Title of PaperB," Journal. 16(4):25-50.


Paper submissions that do not conform to these guidelines may be returned to the author(s) for re-submission before the April 30th Proceedings deadline. Revised papers must be re-submitted in both a hard copy and a diskette, or an electronic version, that are clearly labeled "revised".

NOTE: Do not send your full-length paper and diskette to the Conference Organizer. These must be submitted to the Program Coordinator, Jennifer Wilby. (See below for contact information.) A copy of the paper must also be submitted to your SIG Chair, panel Chair or co-host contact person.

Audio-Visual Requirements

Overhead projectors will be provided for all paper/symposium panels. If you have more specialized audio-visual needs, please notify the Program Coordinator when you submit your paper or presentation summary. It may not be possible to respond to last-minute requests.


Proposals are also invited for a poster session that is being planned for the Toronto meeting. Posters may be presented separately or in conjunction with a written paper. Poster proposals in the form of a brief written summary, preferably with an outline of the content for each poster, must be submitted to the Poster Session Coordinator, Allenna Leonard (E-mail: by December 1, 1999. Notification of acceptance will occur by December 31, 1999.

As with written papers, an abstract (and diskette) may be submitted for inclusion in the Conference Program along with your registration fee. Please follow the procedures described above for paper abstracts. Your abstract should be labeled (Poster Session) at the bottom.

Your abstract and registration must be received by the Conference Organizer by April 1, 2000. If you wish, a written summary of your poster display can be published in the Proceedings. A printed hard copy and diskette or E-mail submission, using the guidelines for papers described above, must be submitted to the Poster Session Coordinator by April 1st. The final deadline for revisions will be April 30th. Abstracts cannot be processed and poster display space will not be allocated unless registration fees are prepaid. Also, poster display space cannot be assured after the registration deadline.

Guidelines for Preparing Posters

Poster submissions will be limited to a maximum of four (4) posters. Recommended size is 20 x 30 inches (or 50 x 70 centimeters), with a maximum of 24 x 36 inches (or 60 x 90 centimeters). Posters must be oriented and mounted vertically.

Posters may not be prepared with free-hand drawings or hand-lettering. It is recommended that you use 24 to 30 point font size for the title, 20 point font size for author’s name and affiliation, and subheads, and 16-18 point font size for text material.

Posters should emphasize visual materials - photographs, drawings, and graphic representations of statistical data. Text material should be limited to summarizing key points. The use of color is welcome but not essential. It is also recommended that you try to subdivide your presentation so that the number of parts or segments corresponds to the number of posters used.

We also suggest that you bring with you to the meeting written summaries of your poster presentation, or related full-length papers. These may be placed on the floor immediately below your poster display for distribution. Poster-presenters will also be asked to be on hand during designated evening poster session hours to discuss their work with interested attendees.

Please also note that, as a courtesy to ISSS, Dr. Pille Bunnell, current President of the American Society for Cybernetics and an ISSS member, has kindly offered to make available to us her excellent guidelines on preparing visual presentation material. These can be accessed through the ISSS website:



Conference Organizer (Abstracts and Registration)

Dr. Peter A. Corning
President, ISSS (1999-2000)
Phone: 1-650-325-5717
Fax: 1-650-325-3775

World Congress/ISSS 2000
560 Waverley St. Suite 202
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Program Coordinator (Papers/Presentations)

Jennifer Wilby
Phone: +44-1522-886252
Fax: +44-1522-886032


Jennifer Wilby
59 Browning Road
York YO42 2GN

Poster Session Coordinator (Poster Displays)

Allenna Leonard