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Georgios Ch. Sirakoulis and Stefania Bandini

Cellular automata (CA) present a very powerful approach to the study of spatio-temporal complex systems allowing to simulate complex global behaviors by using very primitive rules based on local interactions. CA account for real phenomena or solutions of problems, whose high complexity could unlikely be formalized in different contexts, and promote advanced computational models to be developed and analyzed in order to design future generations of scientific and technological scenarios. Furthermore, parallelism and locality features of CA allow a straightforward and extremely easy parallelization, therefore an immediate implementation on parallel and distributed computing resources, directly fitting the technological
trends. These characteristics of the CA research resulted in the formation of interdisciplinary research teams, involving cross-fertilization studies and perspectives, producing remarkable research results, and attracting scientists from different disciplines.

In these aspects, ACRI (Cellular Automata for Research and Industry) Conference, as the oldest conference in CA, has been traditionally focused on challenging problems and new research not only in theoretical but application aspects of CA, including CA tools and computational sciences. It is also concerned with applications and solutions of problems from the fields of physics, engineering, environment science, social science and life sciences, allowing scholars coming from different studies and experience in CA to discuss and merge their competencies and results, to identify new issues and to enlarge the research fields of CA. Since its inception in 1994, the ACRI conference has attracted an ever-growing community and has raised knowledge and interest in the study of CA for both new entrants into the field as well as researchers already working on particular aspects of CA. The 10th edition of ACRI 2012 Conference, organized by Democritus University of Thrace, took place in Santorini Island, Greece on September 24-27 2012, and was the tenth in a series of conferences inaugurated in 1994 in Rende, Italy, and followed by ACRI 1996 in Milan, Italy, ACRI 1998 in Trieste, Italy, ACRI 2000 in Karlsruhe, Germany, ACRI 2002 in Geneva, Switzerland, ACRI 2004 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, ACRI 2006 in Perpignan, France, ACRI 2008 in Yokohama, Japan and ACRI 2010 in Ascoli Piceno, Italy.

The main goal of the ACRI 2012 Conference was to offer both scientists and engineers in academies and industries an opportunity to express and discuss their views on current trends, challenges, and state-of-the art solutions to various problems. As it already became apparent, CA approach is universal so easily applied to numerous different and interdisciplinary fields like the ones of arts, biology, chemistry, communication, cultural heritage, ecology, economy, geology, engineering, computer science, medicine, physics, sociology, etc.

A major part of these topics is covered by the content of this special issue. Twelve papers, all related with many different applications from small scale to large scale systems related with biology, ecology, project management, image processing, cryptography, pseudorandom number generation, robotics and urban geography, all modeled with CA were selected to constitute a volume of about one hundred and eighty pages. They were all thoroughly reviewed and revised properly as a detailed major extension of their conference papers published in the ACRI 2012 proceedings.

In more details, Landman, Bindman and Newgreen propose CA modeling of enteric nervous system (ENS) colonization, determining the key mechanisms to determine success or failure, and present new modeling results on the stochastic competition of individual neural crest (NC) cell progeny, by determining clonal contributions.

Hirabayashi, Kinoshita, Tanaka, Honda, Kojima and Oiwa present a CA approach for characterizing of DNA tile computing and investigate a cryptosystem using a DNA motif called a triple crossover (TX) tile with the help of a CA model.

Chatzichristofis, Bampis, Marques, Lux and Boutalis, propose a lossless visual multimedia content encryption CA approach employing the recursive attributes of the eXclusive-OR (XOR) filter and accelerating them by the Summed Area Tables (SAT) approach. This method is a symmetric-key based one and appears to be able to withstand brute force attacks.

Vlassopoulos and Girau introduce a new composite fitness metric to evolve two-dimensional CA using Genetic Algorithms and Markov Chain Monte-Carlo approach so as to successfully pass specific tests from Pseudorandom Number Generators (PRNGs) batteries of tests.

Das and Rowchowdhury introduce a CA based high-speed, secure stream cipher with 128 bits Key and 128 bits Initial Vector (IV), namely CASTREAM, suitable for both hardware and software. The CASTREAM is extensible in terms of Key size and provides configurable security and vendor specific implementation option better than the existing standards.

Di Stefano and Navarra propose a very simple game called Scintillae, which, like in a domino game, provides the player with limited basic pieces that can be placed over a chessboard-like area. Nevertheless, many interesting aspects arrive from the evolution of this game and combinatorial circuit and cryptography case studies of Scintillae evolution are presented.

Zagoris and Pratikakis propose CA for text detection in Natural Images. Initially, an edge map is calculated and binarized and then, by taking advantage of the CA memory notion, the transition rules of these hybrid CA are applied in different consecutive steps proving the method’s efficiency when compared with others methods for ICDAR 2011 Robust Reading Competition dataset.

Charalampous, Kostavelis, Amanatiadis and Gasteratos present a CA based method suitable for path planning in dynamically changing environments, assuring a collision-free cost efficient path to target with optimal computational cost and, moreover, apply it successfully to indoor and outdoor real world planar environments.

Avolio, Di Gregorio and Trunfio propose a wildfire simulator, based on CA, in which a local randomization of the spread directions and different size of neighborhood are introduced to improve the accuracy of fire spread simulations based on a standard center-to-center ignition scheme.

Ben Belgacem, Chopard, Latt and Parmigiani investigate optimal management of network of irrigation canals by numerical modeling of Complex Cellular Automata (CxA), Lattice Boltzmann (LB) method and Multiscale Modeling Language (MML) on a distributed grid infrastructure aiming at coupling simple 1D model of canal sections with 3D complex ones.

Blecic, Cecchini, Trunfio and Verigos propose an operational approach to incorporate complex urban geographies into urban land-use CA models. They furthermore present few toy experiments and a real-world application of the model to the city of Heraklion in Crete, Greece.

Shimura and Nishinari present a stochastic CA model for project management providing the estimation of various tempo properties relevant to the project such as project duration, critical path and slack time in terms of the realization probability.

Finally, we would like to thank and acknowledge the members of ACRI Conference Program Committee who kindly accepted to assist us and provided us with their valuable comments during the review process of the aforementioned Conference and Special Issue papers:

Andrew Adamatzky (University of the West of England – UK)
Ioannis Andreadis (Democritus University of Thrace – Greece)
Franco Bagnoli (University of Florence – Italy)
Stefania Bandini (University of Milano-Bicocca – Italy)
Olga Bandman (Moscow Energetic Institute – Russia)
Belgacem Ben Youssef (Fraser University Surey – Canada)
Bastien Chopard (University of Geneva – Switzerland)
Alberto Dennunzio (University of Milano-Bicocca – Italy)
Andreas Deutsch (Dresden University of Technology – Germany)
Salvatore Di Gregorio (University of Calabria – Italy)
Pedro de Oliveira (Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie – Brazil)
Michel Droz (University of Geneva – Switzerland)
Samira El Yacoubi (University of Perpignan – France)
Nazim Fat`es (INRIA Nancy – Grand Est – France)
Teijiro Isokawa (University of Hyogo – Japan)
Francisco Jim´enez (University of Santa Clara – Spain)
Ioannis Karafyllidis (Democritus University of Thrace – Greece)
Toshihiko Komatsuzaki (Kanazawa University – Japan)
Martin Kutrib (Institut f¨ur Informatik Universit¨at Gießen – Germany)
Anna T. Lawniczak (University of Guelph – Canada)
Jia Lee (Chongqing University – China)
Joseph Lizier (Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences – Germany)
Danuta Makowiec (Gdansk University – Poland)
Sara Manzoni (University of Milano-Bicocca – Italy)
Maurice Margenstern (Universit´e Paul Verlaine – METZ – France)
Genaro J. Mart´ınez (University of the West of England – Mexico)
Nobuyuki Matsui (University of Hyogo – Japan)
Giancarlo Mauri (University of Milano-Bicocca – Italy)
Mohamma Reza Meybodi (Amirkabir University of Technology – Iran)
Michael Meyer-Hermann (Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research Braunschweig – Germany)
Angelo Mingarelli (Carleton University – Canada)
Shin Morishita (Yokohama National University – Japan)
Katsuhiro Nishinari (University of Tokyo – Japan)
Hidenosuke Nishio (University of Kyoto – Japan)
Ferdinand Peper (National Institute of Information and Communications Technology – Japan)
Franciszek Seredynski (Institute of Computer Science Polish Academy of Sciences – Poland)
Roberto Serra (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia – Italy)
Biplab K. Sikdar (Bengal Engineering and Science University – India)
Georgios Sirakoulis (Democritus University of Thrace – Greece)
Furio Suggi Liverani (University of Trieste – Italy)
Domenico Talia (University of Calabria – Italy)
Marco Tomassini (University of Lausanne – Switzerland)
Leen Torenvliet (University of Amsterdam – The Netherlands)
Hiroshi Umeo (University of Osaka Electro-Communication – Japan)
Giuseppe Vizzari (University of Milano-Bicocca – Italy)
Burton Voorhees (University of Athabasca – Canada)
Thomas Worsch (University of Karlsruhe – Germany)

April 14, 2014
Georgios Ch. Sirakoulis (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Stefania Bandini (University of Milano-Bicocca – Italy)

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