SIWN Abstracts Index
Editorial for Special Issue on Agent Based Systems for Human Learning
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 3, No. 1, March 2008, pp. 1-2
Forming and Scaffolding Human Coalitions: A Framework and An Implementation For Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Environment
Nobel Khandaker and Leen-Kiat Soh
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 3, No. 1, March 2008, pp. 3-22
Abstract: Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environments are used today as a platform for delivering distance education and as a tool to improve student understanding via collaborative learning methods. The suc-cess of a CSCL environment in improving the knowledge of a student depends on the quality of group work of its partici-pants. However, forming human user groups that allow all the users collaborate effectively is difficult because of the dynamic nature of the human users and the complex interplay of human factors (e.g., comfort level, proficiency, etc.). Furthermore, human behaviors change over time due to their ability to learn new skills. Thus, a framework that accom-modates the unique nature of human behavior and uses it to improve the outcome of the coalitions is needed. In this pa-per, we present iHUCOFS – a multiagent framework for forming and scaffolding human coalitions. We also discuss an implementation of the iHUCOFS framework (VALCAM) in a CSCL environment called I-MINDS. Preliminary results indicate that VALCAM can make a positive impact on the learner coalitions formed in I-MINDS.
Keywords: computer-supported collaborative learning, mul-tiagent system, human coalition formation, scaffolding.
Dynamic Experience Management in Virtual Worlds for Entertainment, Education, and Training
Mark O. Riedl, Andrew Stern, Don M. Dini and Jason M. Alderman
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 3, No. 1, March 2008, pp. 23-42
Abstract: Modern computer systems have the ability to make the storytelling experience interactive by involving a participant or learner as a character in the narrative itself. We present a framework for creating interactive narratives for entertainment, educational, and training purposes based on a type of agent called an experience manager. An experience manager (a generalization of a drama manager) is an intelligent computer agent that manipulates a virtual world to coerce a participant’s experience to conform to a set of provided properties. Our realization of the experience manager automatically generates narrative content in order to adapt to the user’s actions in the virtual world. The experience management framework has been used to develop an interactive version of Little Red Riding Hood and an interactive practice environment called IN-TALE for educating and training cognitive skills such as situation awareness, cultural awareness, leadership, and decisionmaking.
Keywords: interactive narrative; storytelling in education and training; drama management; experience management; intelligent tutoring systems
Impacts of Visualisation, Interaction and Immersion on Learning Using an Agent-Based Training Simulation
Debbie Richards, Nicolas Szilas, Manolya Kavakli and Mark Dras
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 3, No. 1, March 2008, pp. 43-60
Abstract: Simulations offer a safe, repeatable and controlled way of providing training to humans and for evaluating the value of the training. This paper describes a simulation system that we are developing for the purposes of training customs officers to identify risk situations. The work brings together research from virtual environments; narrative intelligence; language technology and knowledge acquisition to develop a training system we are using to evaluate the effect of factors on our architecture and implementation such as visualization, interaction, and immersion on engagement and learning.
Keywords: agent based systems, engines and storytelling, knowledge acquisition, language technology, narrative intelligence, simulations, training, virtual environments.
A Survey and Qualitative Analysis of Recent Advances in Drama Management
David L. Roberts and Charles L. Isbell
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 3, No. 1, March 2008, pp. 61-75
Abstract: In recent years, there has been a growing interest in constructing rich interactive entertainment and training experiences. As these experiences have grown in complexity, there has been a corresponding growing need for the development of robust technologies to shape and modify those experiences in reaction to the actions of human participants. One popular mechanism for addressing this need is through the use of a drama manager. A drama manager is a coordinator that tracks narrative progress in the environment and directs the roles and/or responses of objects and agents to achieve a specific narrative or training goal. In this paper, we provide a survey of recent advances in drama management technologies for interactive entertainment, and describe a set of desiderata for the qualitative analysis of such systems.
Keywords: agent coordination, desiderata, drama management, interactive drama, interactive narrative, narrative learning.
Using Simulation to Model and Understand Group Learning
Maartje Spoelstra and Elizabeth Sklar
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 3, No. 1, March 2008, pp. 76-88
Abstract: In this research, simulation is used to model individuals participating in various group learning scenarios. By reviewing the pedagogical literature for key themes found in studies of skill acquisition, the design of learning environments and their effects on individual learners, a set of characteristic factors are identified that can describe a human learner. These characteristics are used to construct computational models that act as controllers for agents acting in a simulated learning environment. Varying parameter values can change the learning environment, as well as control some of the “human” factors that describe the population of agent learners instantiated in the simulation. The simulation can emulate the expected effects based on empirical and experimental results of education and developmental psychology research, and also gives a simple environment in which to conduct low-cost, non-invasive experiments on the design of learning environments.
Keywords: multi-agent simulation, education, group learning
e-Advisor: A Web-based Intelligent System for Academic Advising
Fuhua Lin, Kinshuk, Rory McGreal, Steve Leung, Dunwei Wen, Frank Zhang, Qin Li and Xiaofeng Liang
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 3, No. 1, March 2008, pp. 89-98
Abstract: This paper describes the design and development of a Web-based intelligent system, e-Advisor, for facilitating academic advising. The system supports three types of users: students, advisors, and program administrators. The paper focuses on the multi-agent architecture and various types of agents in e-Advisor. A preference-driven planning algorithm used by the advisor agent is explained in detail. Empirical results show that the architecture and algorithm are effective.
Keywords: academic advising, intelligent systems, knowledge modeling, multi-agent systems
Creating Pedagogical Agents as Social Models in an Online Learning Environment MathGirls
Yanghee Kim, Beijie Xu and Abbass Al Sharif
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 3, No. 1, March 2008, pp. 99-106
Abstract: This paper introduces the learning environment MathGirls for high school girls learning fundamentals of algebra. Grounded in social cognitive theories of learning, MathGirls utilizes pedagogical agents to create a girl-friendly virtual learning environment. The design constituents of pedagogical agents are reviewed. These constituents are likely to influence building agent/learner relations. The agent design and system architecture of the MathGirls environment are developed to integrate some of the design constituents. Empirical findings from MathGirls deployment in classrooms support the efficacy of the presence of pedagogical agents in shaping affective and cognitive characteristics of the learner. The paper concludes with the discussions of future recommendations for the effective design of and research in pedagogical agent systems.
Keywords: learning companions, math learning, motivation, online learning, pedagogical agents, social interaction
Introduction to Special Section on Agent Based System Challenges for Ubiquitous and Pervasive Computing
Guest Editor: J. Gaber
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 2, May 2008, pp. 107
Facilitating the Ambient Intelligent Vision: A Theorem, Representation and Solution for Instability in Rule-Based Multi-Agent Systems
Victor Zamudio and Vic Callaghan
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 2, May 2008, pp. 108-121
Abstract: Multi-agent systems underpin the vision for ambient intelligence. However, developing multi-agent systems is a complex and challenging process. For example, pervasive computing has been found susceptible to instability, due to unwanted behaviour arising from unplanned interaction between rule based agents. This instability is impossible to predict, as it depends on the rules of interaction, the initial state of the system, the user interaction, and in the time delay of the system (due to network traffic, different speed of processing, etc). In this paper we present a theoretical framework, an Interaction Network (IN), together with a communication locking strategy that we call INPRES (Instability Prevention System) that can be used to identify and eliminate this problem. In addition we describe a Multi-Dimensional Model (MDM) to represent the agents and the state of each agent over time. A theorem showing the role of delays in an unstable system is presented. We present experimental results based on simulations and a physical emulation that demonstrate the effectiveness of these methods.
Keywords: agent challenges, pervasive computing, instability, periodic behaviour, multi-agents.
Enhancing Natural Interaction with Circumstantial Knowledge
Dolores Cuadra, Jessica Rivero, David del Valle and Francisco Javier Calle
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 2, May 2008, pp. 122-129
Abstract: This work focuses the circumstantial knowledge management for a specific need: the achievement of Natural Interaction (NI). In first place, a cognitive approach to NI is glanced as the framework for such knowledge management. This approach reflects some certain requirements for the whole interaction system, which are met by a multi-agent system implementation. Finally, a Situation Modeling is proposed for a first approach to the interaction circumstances management.
Keywords: natural interaction, situation models, spatiotemporal databases, multi-agent based interaction.
Agentφ: A Tool for Modeling Composite Self-Adaptive Agents
Sébastien Leriche and Jean-Paul Arcangeli
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 2, May 2008, pp. 130-138
Abstract: In this paper, we propose a flexible agent model, and a tool called AGENTφ for modeling safe composite agents. Agents are assembled from fine-grained reusable components, called micro-components, which implement non-functional mechanisms (interaction capabilities, mobility, adaptation skills...). Agents are self-adaptive : when running, an agent can autonomously replace some of its micro-components in order to adapt to runtime conditions. Here, the micro-component level behaves like an adaptable container which hosts the agent's behavior. Static modeling of agents and dynamic self-adaptation features allow developers to deal with flexibility requirements in the context of open distributed computing, and specially of ubiquitous and pervasive computing. An embedded communicating agent (with a GPS component) is developed in order to illustrate our proposal. Experiments show that complexity involved by flexibility constraints is limited due to separation of concerns and levels, and to reuse, still with good performances.
Keywords: agents, software components, software architecture, dynamic adaptation, middleware, open distributed systems.
Toward Dynamic Generation of Computational Agents by Means of Logical Descriptions
Roman Neruda and Gerd Beuster
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 2, May 2008, pp. 139-144
Abstract: A formalism for the logical description of computational agents and multi-agent systems is given. It is explained how it such a formal description can be used to configure and reason about multi-agent systems realizing computational intelligence models. A usage within a real software system Bang 3 is demonstrated. A way to extend the system toward dynamic environments with migrating agents is discussed.
Keywords: Multi-agent systems, formal description, computational intelligence.
A Survey on Graph Based Service Discovery Approaches for Ad hoc Networks
Mohammed Haddad and Hamamache Kheddouci
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 2, May 2008, pp. 145-152
Abstract: The concept of service is frequently used as an abstraction of software and hardware resources. Service oriented architectures should offer mechanisms of service discovery, advertisement and location. So, it represents a key problem in very dynamic networks like ad hoc networks. Various research treating the communication in these networks carried an unquestionable interest to use virtual dynamic topologies to get a better network organization. In this paper, we give a classification and discuss the different virtual topologies in ad hoc networks and their advantages in implementing service oriented applications.
Keywords: Service discovery, ad hoc networks, graphs.
P2MP VPLS Using Mobile Agents Approach
Mohamed El Hachimi and Maria Bennani
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 2, May 2008, pp. 153-157
Abstract: Ethernet is the most widely deployed and ubiquitous Local Area Network technology. Recently, there has been more interest to extend Ethernet physical reach to be used as a suitable solution for wide area networks known as Metro Ethernet. Services offered in this kind of networks are often point to point connections between multiple sites. Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) was developed to go beyond point to point connectivity and provide point to multi-point or multipoint to multipoint connectivity.
In the other hand, the increasing adoption of MPLS was soon adapted to scale Ethernet networks and offer VPN services. Consequently, VPLS leverage the foundation and the power of MPLS to offer multi-point connectivity. VPLS sites are connected in fully meshed topology over MPLS using multiple P2P Label switching paths (LSP). The multiple point to point connections leads to wastage of bandwidth that is why Multicast has been proposed to be a suitable solution for VPLS service over MPLS. MPLSs TE support is provided over using Point-to-Point (P2P) LSPs however, the functionality and signaling of Point to Multipoint (P2MP) LSPs are not supported in existing MPLS Architecture. In this paper we propose a solution for point-to-multipoint tree establishment by the mean of mobile agent paradigm, while taking into account, resource management and quality of service requirements.
Keywords: VPLS, MPLS, Mobile agents, VPN, Multicast.
A Hybrid Resource Access Approach for Ubiquitous Grid
Imran Ahmad, Sunbal Faheem, Maqbool-uddin-Shaikh and Ghulam Qasim
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 2, May 2008, pp. 158-161
Abstract: The main objective of the pervasive/ubiquitous computing is the reduction of learning needs of the users. This objective is achieved by making the deduction about the users’ requirements. Flow of services and propagation of pervasive devices produce a large amount of data. The pervasive devices process this data. These devices have limitations on hardware and software capabilities. These devices are also heterogeneous. These features of the pervasive devices make them impractical for complex and data intensive functions. To process complex and data intensive functions need to be dynamically transferred to the infrastructure that should be capable for doing this processing. The Grid infrastructure is best candidate for data intensive functions. The complex and data intensive functions can be transferred to the grid nodes for processing. The resources can be selected based on client location, price and QoS requirements. Critical applications such as homeland security, crisis management, optimizing business processes etc require quick and fast results. In this paper, an algorithm is proposed for task scheduling with time-cost minimization and with maximum resource utilization. The experiments show the performance enhancement for applications and improved resource utilization by this algorithm.
Keywords: ubiquitous computing, grid computing, ubiquitous grid computing, computational grid computing, resource scheduling, OD (On Demand), BLBD (Based on Load Balancing and Demand).
Location Models for Pervasive Road Networks
A. Roxin and M. Wack
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 2, May 2008, pp. 162-166
Abstract: Context-aware mobile computing aims at designing applications that automatically adapt their behaviors to the available location information and the available nearby sensors and devices. This is done in order to fulfill tasks in a way that suits users’ current context best. To achieve this, context representation and manipulation are important issues, so as to establish formal context models. In this paper, basic elements of context-aware systems are described with an emphasis on location information representations. Space models for location-based applications are presented. Considered realistic applications concern intelligent vehicles and pervasive road networks.
Keywords: context-aware systems, pervasive computing, ubiquitous computing, location information modeling, location-aware applications, intelligent vehicle, road network
Urban Transport Planning for Ubiquitous Environments
Mahjoub Dridi, Amir Hajjam and Abdellah EL-Moudni
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 2, May 2008, pp. 167-172
Abstract: The main objective of Ubiquitous Computing (UC) is to provide users information and service accesses anytime and irrespective to their location. In transportation functionning, many approaches based on optimization algorithms are being employed in the development of intelligent transport systems. In particular in public transport, to guarantee a high quality of intelligent transportation planning, timetable must be optimized in order to reduce the transit time of passengers in connections and to provide users real-time and appropriate information that suits their locations and contexts. In this paper, we consider public transportation planning and especially tranfer optimization problem where the goal is to minimize the total expected waiting time of riders by coordinating transfers in the network. The methodology adopted in this work is structured in two phases: the first one consists on optimizing the transit durations in connections with consideration of fixed duration trip between consecutives stations and illimited vehicle capacity. In the second phase, we prove that the considered problem becomes difficult to solve and give a resolution approach based on genetic algorithms.
Keywords: ubiquitous environments, combinatorial optimization, genetic algorithms assignment.
A Secure Approach Based on Contract Negotiation for Service Discovery in Ubiquitous Computing Environments
A.Nait-Sidi-Moh, M. Bakhouya and M. Wack
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 2, May 2008, pp. 173-180
Abstract: Ubiquitous computing deals with providing users accesses to a wide range of services at any time, every where, and from a variety of devices. The monitoring and controlling accesses to these services are one of the fundamental issues that must be faced in the context of ubiquitous computing environments. To address this issue, an access control must be granted to services in order to regulate their usage. In this paper, a secure approach based on contract negotiation and electronic signature for monitoring and controlling accesses to services in ubiquitous environments is presented. In this approach, client agents and server agents are bounded by contracts: the server agent expects that the client agent will not attempt to access other services than those it required, and the client agent expects that the server agent will provide the required service. The specification and modeling of electronic signature process using Petri net together with the validation of its properties are presented.
Keywords: ubiquitous and pervasive computing, service discovery, contract negotiation, electronic signature, specification, modeling and control, petri nets.
A Reinforcement Learning-Based Approach for Spontaneous Service Emergence in Pervasive Computing Environments
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 2, May 2008, pp. 181-187
Abstract: In this paper, a reinforcement learning approach based on the creation of affinity relationships between users having similar preferences and interests is presented. This approach suits pervasive environments to promote computerbased human interactions for spontaneous service emergence. By mimicking the human immune system behavior for the implementation of pervasive applications, services or user interests are represented by agents that can establish relationships based on affinities. Affinity corresponds to the adequacy with which two services could bind to share common interest attributes. These affinities are adjusted or reinforced by users’ satisfaction regarding their interaction and dynamic network condition changes.
Keywords: pervasive computing, spontaneous service emergence paradigm, propitient multi-agent systems, reinforcement learning.
TUGrid Portal: A Secure and User-Friendly Interface
Anju Sharma and Seema Bawa
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 2, May 2008, pp. 188-193
Abstract: Grid computing aims to integrate large number of heterogeneous, geographically distributed resources and services to create the illusion of simple and powerful virtual supercomputers. Grids provide us a common set of services and capabilities that are deployed across the resources. For the deployment of different services and capabilities, grid portals are designed. Grid portals are the essential tools in automotive companies, for managing compute intensive resources, for virtual engineering and designing. This paper presents the motivation for, development and implementation of Grid-enabled computational portal for data processing and integration of various middleware for the interoperability. Along with this implementation details, testbed for the portal, simulation results for the portal, features of the TUGrid Portal and future directions are also presented. The portal can be extended in a number of directions -additional supports for grid administrators, greater number of application-specific interfaces, interoperability between grid infrastructures, and interfaces for programming support.
Keywords: grid computing, grid portals, TUGrid portal, SLA, N1GE6, Globus, Condor, Alchemi
Stable Coalitions Under Different Demand Conditions in Iterative Request for Proposal Environments
Carlos Merida-Campos and Steven Willmott
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 2, May 2008, pp. 194-204
Abstract: This paper explores a general model of economic exchange between heterogeneous agents representing firms, traders or other socioeconomic entities, that self-organize into coalitions to fulfil specific tasks. In particular, the work addresses coalition formation problems in which one or many different tasks are directed at the same population over time in an iterative fashion – giving the agents the possibility to organize themselves for specific tasks. The purpose of the paper is to describe the necessary elements that lead the system to an equilibrium state and asses the impact of two different factors on the type of collaboration patterns established between agents. The two factors studied are coalition size constraints and the specificity of the requested tasks. By using a novel data mining technique called collaboration graphs it is possible to see that stable states can be reached using a simple iterative protocol, and that self interested populations adapt to the specific requirements of the task, creating more dynamism when specific task requirements change over time, and increasing in stability when more generic tasks are required. It is also shown that the number of stable states increases as the coalition size limit decreases, and that using a different optimization based on immediate payoff maximization, stability can be compromised.
Keywords: multi-agent systems, coalition formation, request for proposal, distributed problem solving, electronic markets
Introduction to Special Section on Industrial Applications of Distributed Intelligent Systems
Guest Editors: Adriana Giret, Vicente Julián and Vicente Botti
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 3, October 2008, pp. 205
Developing a Multiagent Recommender System: A Case Study in Tourism Industry
Juan Sebastián López, Fabian Andrés Bustos, Vicente Julián and Miguel Rebollo
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 3, October 2008, pp. 206-212
Abstract: Tourism industry has been rapidly expanding over the last decade, becoming an important factor of the global economy since it covers a national and international demand. Recent technological advances gave rise to research areas in information systems and computer science that deal with the introduction and evaluation of enterprise, applications, and services on the tourism industry. The principal innovation in the tourism industry has been in exploiting the information and communication technologies to provide better quality services. On the other hand, the use of travel agencies by the consumers has been decreasing since the users demand more control over the decision due to their unsatisfied needs. In addition, the travelers often experience unsatisfactory searches for travel information due to the big volume of data and services. Given this need to help users to improve their tourism experience, Recommender Systems have become a broad research area within tourism industry. It has be-come a very useful tool by reducing the gap between users’ expectations and their experiences. This paper presents a tourism Recommender System architecture integrating Multi Agent Technology and Social Network Analysis, thus solving the tourist Recommender Systems issues.
Keywords: Multi Agent System, Social Networks, Tourism.
Location of Mobile Devices Using Multi-Agent Systems in Wireless Networks
Adolfo González-Blázquez, Pablo Pedro Mulas-Gómez, Rafael Rivera-Retamar, Manuel Ortega Ortiz de Apodaca, Rubén Fuentes-Fernández, Jorge J. Gómez-Sanz
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 3, October 2008, pp. 213-221
Abstract: Context-aware applications rely on location services in order to provide functionality adapted to specific physical settings. A common problem in the design of these applications is the lack of a standard approach to incorporate these services in the overall application. The research in this paper proposes a Model-Driven Engineering approach using multi-agent systems for this problem. Agents in these systems use location services as resources in the environment on top of which they provide higher-level functionalities. Agents also collaborate to recollect and share the data required to set up the location procedure. For the presentation of the approach, this paper discusses the work done in the development of a location system for mobile devices using wireless networks in the premises of our university. The paper also reviews and compares related work.
Keywords: ubiquitous computing, context-awareness, location, agent, wireless.
Multi-Agent System for Security Control on Industrial Environments
Dante I. Tapia, Juan F. De Paz, Sara Rodríguez, Javier Bajo and Juan M. Corchado
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 3, October 2008, pp. 222-226
Abstract: This paper presents a multi-agent system for managing and monitoring surveillance routes for security guards on industrial environments. The system obtains automatic and real-time information about the context to schedule and monitor the security guards activities. Users interact with the system in a simple, natural and intuitive way, using a set of wireless technologies and software agents with reasoning and planning mechanisms.
Keywords: Industrial Security, Agents, Surveillance Routes Calculation, Monitoring, Radio-Frequency Identification.
Product Degrees of Freedom as Manufacturing System Reconfiguration Potential Measures
Amro M. Farid
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 3, October 2008, pp. 227-242
Abstract: In recent years, many design approaches have been developed for automated manufacturing systems in the fields of reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMS), holonic manufacturing systems (HMS), and multi-agent systems (MAS). One of the principle reasons for these developments has been to enhance the recongurability of a manufacturing system; allowing it to readily adapt to changes over time. However, to date, recongurability assessment has been limited. Hence the efficacy of these design approaches remains inconclusive. This paper seeks to address this need by analogy. Mechanical degrees of freedom (DOF) has been used in the field of mechanics as a means of determining the independent directions of motion of a mechanical system. By analogy, manufacturing DOF can be used to determine the independent ways of production. Furthermore, manufacturing DOF can be classied into their production and product varieties. This paper specifically focuses on the latter to measure the product dependent aspects of manufacturing system reconfiguration potential. This approach forms a part of a systematic approach to reconfigurability measurement described elsewhere [22, 20, 21, 23, 17].
Keywords: reconfigurability, reconfiguration processes, reconfigurable manufacturing systems, holonic manufacturing systems, multi-agent systems
Analytical Robustness in Single-Line Railway Timetabling
Miguel A. Salido, Federico Barber and Laura Ingolotti
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 3, October 2008, pp. 243-251
Abstract: Over the last few years, numerous approaches and tools have been developed to compute railway timetabling. However, robust solutions are necessary to absorb short disruptions mainly in single-line tracks. In this paper, we present some guidelines to measure robustness in railway timetabling. Two analytical formula have been developed to measure robustness based on the study of railway infrastructure topology and time supplement/buffer time. Thus, each buffer time is pondered by some factors such as the weighting of each station in a running map, tightest tracks, number of subsequent trains, etc. This method is inserted in MOM1, which is a project in collaboration with the Spanish Railway Infrastructure Manager (ADIF).
Keywords: railway timetabling, robustness, single-line, analytical measures
Bio-inspired Neural Networks as a Framework for Building Complex Systems
Manuel G. Bedia, Juan M. Corchado and Luis F. Castillo
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 3, October 2008, pp. 252-258
Abstract: In the real world, computing devices should be able to respond intelligently to gaps in their knowledge and to situations that have not been specified in their design. In the future, and at the present, it starts to be necessary artefacts able to exhibit robust and versatile behaviour in open-ended environments and give sensible responses in unforeseen situations. To achieve these goals, it is necessary rethinking how systems should be designed and what are the models and notions to include intelligence in systems that understand their environments and their users. In the first part of this paper we analyse whether some notions resident in Complex Systems and, in particular, in a type de processes that emerge in Lotka-Volterra systems [1, 21] can contribute to design and improve intelligent artifacts for dealing with problems in Systems Engineering related on the stability-plasticity dilemma . In the second part of the paper we explain how the field of the cryptography can make profit using the ideas about winnerless competition shown above.
Keywords: complex nonlinear dynamic system, “stabilityplasticity” dilemma, spatio-temporal neural coding, design for emergence.
The Specification of an Agent-Supported Modeling for a Manufacturing System Simulation
Nancy Ruiz, Adriana Giret and Vicente Botti
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 3, October 2008, pp. 259-269
Abstract: This paper explains how agent theory can be used to model manufacturing systems using an Agent-Supported Simulation Tool. The main contribution of this paper is the definition of a manufacturing system modeling for a simulation tool that is controlled using Multiagent Systems Theory. The model is based on the PROSA reference architecture for Holonic Manufacturing Systems.
Keywords: agent-supported simulation, multi-agent system, manufacturing modeling.
Diagnosing Distributed Systems Using Only Structural and Qualitative Information
Diana Borrego, María Teresa Gómez-López and Rafael M. Gasca
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 3, October 2008, pp. 270-276
Abstract: This work presents a proposal to diagnose distributed subsystems that form a global system using structural and qualitative information. The diagnosis is distributed since the system is formed by several nodes located separately. These distributed subsystems have two different types of information, private and public data. It means, that the whole information about the system is not known. The system has to be diagnosed based only on public information. In order to obtain the fault diagnosis, a distributed algorithm has been defined to detect the components that fail in a distributed system. Also some definitions about model-based diagnosis have been redefined to be adapted to distributed fault diagnosis.
Keywords: distributed systems, model-based diagnosis.
ASSL Specification of a Self-Scheduling Modeling and Monitoring in Reactive Autonomic Systems: Team-Robotics Case Study
Olga Ormandjieva and Emil Vassev
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 3, October 2008, pp. 277-286
Abstract: The objective of this research is to enable selfscheduling and monitoring at runtime in evolving reactive autonomic systems (RAS). In this paper, we propose a runtime self-monitoring methodology to control the behavior correctness in RAS. Our methodology is based on the specification of system policies such as safety and liveness over a synchronous composition of reactive autonomic components modeled as labeled transition systems. The RAS real-time self-scheduling, verification and monitoring, is further refined with the Autonomic System Specification Language. Our approach is illustrated on Team-Robotics - an evolving embedded mobile system comprising a set of autonomous mobile robots operating and cooperating in a dynamic environment to fulfill a particular task.
Keywords: autonomic, reactive system, formal specification.
Power Line Communication Transceiver on Conductive Wear for Wearable Computing
Tomomichi Murakami, Junichi Akita and Masashi Toda
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 3, October 2008, pp. 287-291
Abstract: Wearable computing systems have been becoming popular in our daily life based on recent development in computing and VLSI technology, and the problems they intrinsically have been arising; powering and wiring; complicated wires make the user uncomfortable, while the wireless system, which can solve this wiring problem, has another problem of battery maintenance.
The authors have been developing a new architecture of flexible network infrastructure for wearable computing systems using conductive fabric, which is named as “TextileNet,” which solves these problems by performing both power supply and communication on the surface of the specialized conductive wear. The signal swing on the conventional TextileNet system is quite large, and this prevents both reducing power consumption and increasing communication speed.
In this paper, we describe the improved architecture of TextileNet based on the scheme of small-swing signaling on DC power supply, “TextileNet-DCPLC,” as well as the design and the evaluation of DC-PLC transceiver LSI for TextileNet- DCPLC.
Keywords: Wearable Computing, Conductive Fabric, DCPLC, Transceiver.
Introduction to Special Section on Complex Negotiation and Scheduling in Multi-Agent Systems
Guest editors: Minjie Zhang and Takayuki Ito
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 4, December 2008, pp. 293-294
Prediction of Partners’ Behaviors in Agent Negotiation under Open and Dynamic Environments
Fenghui Ren and Minjie Zhang
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 4, December 2008, pp. 295-304
Abstract: Prediction of partners’ behaviors in negotiation has been an active research direction in recent years in the area of agent systems. By employing the prediction results, agents can modify their own negotiation strategies in order to achieve an agreement much quicker or to look after much higher benefits. Even though some of prediction strategies have been proposed by researchers, most of them are based on machine learning mechanisms which require a training process in advance. However, in most circumstances, the machine learning approaches might not work well for some kind of agents whose behaviors are excluded in the training data. In order to address this issue, in this paper we propose three regression functions to predict agents’ behaviors: a linear function, a power function, and a quadratic function. The experimental results illustrate that the proposed functions can estimate partners’ potential behaviors successfully and efficiently in different circumstances.
Keywords: agent negotiation, agent behavior prediction, multiagent system.
An Analysis of Computational Complexity of the Threshold Adjusting Mechanism in Multi-Issue Negotiations
Katsuhide Fujita and Takayuki Ito
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 4, December 2008, pp. 305-311
Abstract: In this paper, we propose a threshold adjusting mechanism in complex negotiations among software agents. The mechanism reduces computational complexity to find agreements that produce higher social welfare. Multi-issue negotiation protocols have been studied widely and represent a promising field since most negotiation problems in the real world involve interdependent multiple issues. Our work focuses on negotiation with interdependent issues, in which agent utility functions are nonlinear. We have proposed negotiation protocols where a bidding-based mechanism is used to find socialwelfare maximizing deals. The existing works have not succeeded on reducing the computational cost for finding an agreement. The threshold adjusting mechanism proposed here reduces the number of candidate bids. The experimental results show that the threshold adjusting mechanism can reduce the computational cost while keeping enough optimality. Additionally, we demonstrate threshold adjusting mechanism can achieve the fairness of the revealing the each agent’s private information.
Keywords: Multi-issue negotiation, Nonlinear utility function, Multi agent system
Automated Synthesis of Multi–party Rational Exchange Security Protocols
Almudena Alcaide, Juan M. Estévez–Tapiador, Julio C. Hernández–Castro and Arturo Ribagorda
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 4, December 2008, pp. 312-321
Abstract: It is only recently that rational exchange schemes have been considered as an alternative solution to the exchange problem. A rational exchange protocol cannot provide fairness but it ensures that, rational (i.e. self–interested) parties would have no reason to deviate from the protocol as misbehaving does not have a beneficial result. The common understanding of rationality as a security property has encouraged researchers to look for methods to formally analyze and categorize rational protocols. By contrast, in this paper we adopt a completely new approach and we present an automated tool for the design of multi–party rational exchange security protocols. Given a specific set of initial goals the tool performs a heuristic search in the space of exchanging protocols, producing a rational exchange scheme as a solution. As this is work in progress, we will present the first results obtained executing the application in a three entity environment and a total set of six exchanging items. This article extends previous work  including a formal study based on theory of landscapes, which will allow us to measure the effectiveness of our protocol design methodology.
Keywords: rational exchange, automated protocol synthesis, theory of landscapes.
Priority-based Message Scheduling for Multi-agent System in Ubiquitous Environment
Seungwok Han, Yang Seok Yoon, Hyun Ko and Hee Yong Youn
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 4, December 2008, pp. 322-328
Abstract: The multi-agent system can provide intelligent services in ubiquitous environment. In this paper we introduce a new scheduling service model improving the performance of communication in the multi-agent system. It is achieved by assigning a priority to each message according to the weight of the formalized ACL message and the number of message exchanges between the agents. An experiment reveals that the proposed approach allows smaller processing time per message and turnaround time than the scheduling with the existing JADE platform. The proposed scheme also allows a scalable messaging system.
Keywords: ACL, CAL, load balancing, message scheduling, multi-agent, ubiquitous.
Reactive agent mechanisms for manufacturing process control
Kasper Hallenborg and Ask Just Jensen and Yves Demazeau
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 4, December 2008, pp. 329-338
Abstract: This paper proposes a multi-agent approach to control chemical processes in a production system, where items should undergo chemical reactions in different baths. Recipes for the processes only specify minimum and maximum times for each bath, and the recipes depends strongly on characteristics
of the item.
The PACO paradigm for reactive agents has been applied to create the control software for the system, which is based on simple physical force-like interaction mechanisms, so the agents manage to fulfill their individual and global goals. An outline the problem is followed by an introduction to the PACO paradigm and arguments that explains how PACO suits this problem. Detailed explanations of how the agents are designed and their interactions are given as the core contributions, followed by results of the approach in real world scenarios.
The investigated problem is part of a larger research project, DECIDE, focusing on applying multi-agent control in production systems. Part of the work have previously been presented in .
Keywords: multi-agent system, PACO, interaction mechanisms, flexible manufacturing
Editorial for Special Section on New Tendencies on Agents and Web Services in Distributed Environments
Guest editors: Pilar Herrero and Gonzalo Méndez
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 4, December 2008, pp. 339
3-Level Behavioural Models for Semantic Web Services
Barry Norton, Carlos Pedrinaci, Laurent Henocque and Mathias Kleiner
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 4, December 2008, pp. 340-355
Abstract: There are two types of behavioural models in the WSMO semantic description of services: an orchestration and a choreography, together called the interface. While an orchestration defines a service's behaviour as a composition of existing parts, a choreography is intended to document the conversation of messages exchanged with its client. This paper presents a three-level model for behavioural descriptions, and how UML Activity Diagrams and the Cashew workflow model fit into this, building on existing work on the use of Abstract State Machines to define behaviour in WSMO.
Keywords: Semantic Web, Web services, workflow, choreography, orchestration.
A Framework for Dynamic Resource Allocation in Decentralized Environments
Daniel Lázaro, Xavier Vilajosana, Joan Manuel Marqučs, Angel A. Juan
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 4, December 2008, pp. 356-366
Abstract: Internet has fostered the proliferation of virtual communities. Increasingly, virtual community members have access to more computational resources (computing, storage and bandwidth) that can be aggregated. Thus, Virtual Organizations (VO) appear as a result of the aggregation of resources contributed to the community. Usually, the availability of the resources within a VO is subjected to certain degrees of variability or scarcity under some situations of load peaks. Conversely, in many situations a VO will be only using part of its computational resources. This situation opens challenging opportunities to enable VOs to aggregate their surplus resources and provide them to other VOs. In this context, we present DyMRA, a decentralized resource allocation system, based on deployable markets, that allows inter-VO resource allocation. DyMRA is specially designed to operate in peer-to-peer environments. Even in such dynamic scenarios it can guarantee a target level of availability based on the amount of resources provided by VOs to the inter-VO trading community. An important aspect of DyMRA is that it supports different market mechanisms, which can be dynamically deployed in response to each VO preferences and necessities. DyMRA is built on top of LaCOLLA, a peer-to-peer middleware that allows a group
of users to share resources in a collaborative manner.
Keywords: contributory systems, grid resource allocation, market mechanism, distributed services
A Goal-Oriented Framework to cope with Requirements Changes: Tropos & Alan
Francesco Pagliarecci and Loris Penserini and Luca Spalazzi
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 4, December 2008, pp. 367-381
Abstract: Several agent oriented software engineering methodologies have been proposed in order to support the requirements engineer to cope with the system complexity, abstracting from structural details to better focus on how stakeholders’ needs affect system functionalities. In this context, the challenging aspect is that stakeholders’ needs and preferences, as well as domain constraints, often evolve away from the initial business requirements model of the system, reflecting the extremely heterogeneous and dynamic nature of networked users. Under such conditions, a deployed software solution needs to be able to adapt to requirements changes at run-time in order to meet evolving user needs and environmental constraints.
This paper aims at building an agent-based software development framework to generate software solutions able to cope with requirements changes, supporting organisational networking as well as improving adaptability to context changes. The main idea that pervades our approach is twofold. First, we adopt an agent oriented software engineering methodology, Tropos, to characterize the agent model (GM) for architectural and functional requirements. Second, we provide the specification to perform the mapping process of the previous GM towards a BDI agent language, named Alan. The framework (adaptivity) properties –to cope with requirements changes– have been illustrated along simple example scenarios.
Keywords: agent-oriented software engineering, agent-oriented language
A Web Service-Based E-Maintenance for Distributing Technology Upgrade
Eduardo Gilabert, Susana Ferreiro and Aitor Arnaiz
International Transactions on Systems Science and Applications, Vol. 4, No. 4, December 2008, pp. 382-386
Abstract: Industrial maintenance is one of the most important tasks in the industry because its cost is too high, usually due to poor maintenance decisions. Traditionally, corrective maintenance and preventive maintenance are performed, but both of them, the excessive and the lacking maintenance can be harmful. In the last years, Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) technology or predictive maintenance has appeared in order to establish whether the system will fail during some future period and then take actions to avoid consequences. This paper shows the emaintenance platform nicknamed DYNAWeb which is part of DYNAMITE project. DYNAWeb develops a CBM system based on OSA-CBM standard over MIMOSA comprising broad of capabilities like sensing and data acquisition, signal processing, health assessment or prognosis. This platform ensures the integration of all the components (software and hardware) using different technologies (sensor technologies, wireless communication technology) and providing them with agents and (Semantic) Web Services to allow the integration and the reuse among different applications.
Keywords: e-maintenance, CBM, OSA-CBM, MIMOSA, ontology, semantic web services, agent.
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