Focus of the workshop

1. Non-universal features in avalanche dynamics
This session will focus on introducing the main reasons for non-universal features in avalanche dynamics, such as the presence of inertia, transient phenomena and other non-critical situations where avalanches still play a dominant role for the overall dynamics. This first session also aims at setting the general theme of the conference to set the focus within the different research areas on non-universal features and precursors of catastrophic events in avalanche dynamics.

2. Conditions for universality in avalanche dynamics
Much effort has been invested to classify different systems exhibiting avalanche dynamics into universality classes regarding the underlying nature of disorder and the specifies in the interaction kernel (short or long ranged, strictly positive or with altering signs). This session aims at clarifying the conditions under which one can expect universality and what should be the good classification criteria.

3. Precursors of catastrophic events
One of the most urging questions to solve, also with respect to technical application, such as failure prediction and the forecast of extreme events in natural phenomena, is to find possible definitions of precursors of large events in the time series of avalanches. This third session will be completely dedicated to this topic and introduce this general theme also for the discussions within the follow-up sessions.

4. Avalanches in transient dynamics
Some first works are now concentrating on avalanches in transient dynamics instead of being interested in the stationary state dynamics. In many cases this dynamics appear not to be critical, but they are 
nevertheless in some situations still governed by avalanche type events. This session will concentrate on the specific role of initial conditions and parameter dependence on the avalanches in the transient dynamical regimes, a topic very important for applications were transient dynamics are ubiquitous.

5. Coarse grained models for avalanche dynamics

The development of mesoscopic models, such as spring block models, mesoscopic elasto-plastic models, birth-death processes and various other coarse grained descriptions can help in understanding better the basic mechanisms for non-universal features in avalanche dynamics. This session will focus on some recent advances in these modeling techniques and its application ranges.

6. Yielding transition

The yielding transition has been quite controversial with respect to its belonging in a specific universality class, especially the belonging to the depinning universality class has been shown to be questionable. Depending on the observables considered and the dynamical regime of interest the reasoning can be very different. This session is suppose to sort out the necessary numerical (and experimental) tests needed to converge the understanding of this strongly debated subject.

7. Instability in solid earth systems
Geophysical systems with avalanche dynamics, such as snow avalanches and earthquakes are related to very similar questions compared to the depinning and the yielding transition and this workshop aims at isolating common questions that can be tackled in a common framework.

8. Depinning transition
The depinning transition is probably the best understood dynamical transitions exhibiting avalanche dynamics. We hope that the knowledge and concept transfer of this research field will promote as well the understanding in other fields. On the other hand the study of transient dynamics and situations with non-universal dynamics have also not been strongly addressed in this context and thus the focus will lie on these new questions in the field of the depinning transition.

9. Other systems exhibiting avalanche dynamics
Beyond the above examples for systems exhibiting avalanche dynamics there is a myriad of systems dealing with strongly correlated intermittent dynamics, as is the case for example in Martensites, in neural network systems, in social sciences, in vulcanic eruptions and solar flare dynamics. Thus we give in this last session the possibility to develop the understanding of avalanches in a very broad framework to promote the knowledge transfer between a vast number of different fields.

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