There was a presentation for a Command & Conquer game floating around on PS, in which they discussed how they designed the system. Unfortunately, I cannot find the matching keywords right now. I hope somebody remembers this presentation as well and provides a link to it!
Was it not possibly this one? http://www.2ld.de/gdc2007/EverythingAboutParticleEffectsSlides.pdf
The UE4 presentation for siggraph 2012 also had some pretty cool stuff on particle vector fields and other particle related stuff using CS