Thanks for posting, this is useful. In V2015 (SP2), the first braid .emdl above doesn't work for me. Hair is emitted but then is not affected by the deform by NURBS ICE nodes. I wondered is this a known issue with this version of Softimage? I bumped into some weird things with the new releases when working on the "groomtools" plugin (but don't remember anything specific)
Well, last feedback about some issue, belongs to problems with 'reinterpret location' node in SI 2015.
First setup (one with complete braids) is from 2012, but I don't believe that 'reinterpret location' is even used. It is a sort of kH 'no version', I think I've modified some of 'follow' compounds, but this shouldn't have a such strong consequence, I think.
Regarding spatial queries and Nurbs surfaces, there were issues all the time, like crash when ray-casting on very small distance - that's why kH is always using 'get closest location'.
Another issue is sort of irresponsible Nurbs surface to spatial query, happens after operations like Snip on Nurbs. Anyway this one happened even before ICE, with SI Shrink Wrap - so I believe ICE uses the same engine as Shrink Wrap.
Guides for braids are a bit unusual, linear degree, maybe there's something about this. In any case I think it worth to rebuild one nurbs surface and try again, also it worth to checkout the cutoff distance, maybe this was set to zero on load. Also, reconnect from newly created geo reference - there were issues with paths between versions.
Definitively it worth to save model as 2015 version, before any further work with it.