platforms.The DC&SA Research Centre has developed two platforms
that provide the basic infrastructural support for agent interaction,
the NZDIS platform and OPAL
(the Otago Agent Platform). Opal is the one undergoing further development.
We have also produced several utilities, the NZDIS Utilities, that
can be used in connection with agent development -- they are available
Winikoff – AOSE research:
The overall aim of my research is to find better ways of
creating software. Over the past decade I have focussed on agent-based
software development, looking at both software engineering aspects,
and programming aspects. One of my more significant contributions
to the field was the development (with Professor Lin Padgham) of
the Prometheus agent-oriented software engineering methodology.
I am currently interested in the following topics:
- Concepts for designing
agent software including the crucial role that is played by goals
and how (and why) they should be explicitly represented in agent
- Techniques for designing
and implementing flexible and robust interactions between agents,
including both goal-based techniques and techniques based on commitment
- Techniques for debugging
and for software maintenance of agent systems.
- Techniques for assurance
and validation of agent systems - how can we be confident that
an adaptive system will behave appropriately?
- Agent-oriented programming
- Applying social expectations
to monitoring interactions (which can be software-software, software-humans,
or computer-mediated human-human interaction).
Nowostawski and Martin Purvis – Micro-agents
Our notion and implementation of micro-agents (µ-agents)
support the employment of agent-based concepts at all levels of
software engineering and coding. In this respect they differ from
the conventional deliberative agent-based technologies, which do
not support hierarchical decomposition. In addition, the use of
our µ-agents does not involve a performance penalty. We have
also developed MOA (µ-agents on Android), which is a port
of the µ-agent technology so that it works efficiently with
the Android mobile platform.
where the µ-agent metamodel as well as the actual µ-agent
platform are described in more detail, including instructions on
how to implement applications.
Coordination & Cooperation
Savarimuthu – Research into Agent-based Normative Behaviour:
- Agent-based modeling
of human behaviour (e.g. crowd behaviour in streets, fire-exit
- Modeling normative
behaviour of agents in virtual societies (Second Life, MMOGs)
- Modeling the effectiveness
of social norms in creating sustainable environments (e.g. promoting
recycling, energy conservation)
- Emergence of norms
- Emergence of signals
(sanctions or rewards) which are precursors for norm formation
- Types of norm learning
(experiential, observational and communication-based learning)
- Impact of lying on
convention emergence (in the context of employing communication-based
Other areas of research
interests include data mining (e.g. mining norms, mining information
from news paper articles), harnessing crowd-sourcing (e.g. using
twitter volunteers to transform twitter posts into machine readable
formats), business process modelling and location-based services.
Cranefield - Ontology representation in UML.
Social Structural Modelling for Peace & Conflict Evolution
Given the growing interconnectedness and complexity of human societies,
improved modelling techniques are essential for the understanding
and prediction of social instabilities leading to conflict, insurgency,
and war. The Agent-based Social Structural Modelling for Peace &
Conflict Evolution (AbSSM4P) research project is a new approach
for addressing this issue (see Figure
Maryam Purvis & Tony Savarimuthu –
workflow system. Adaptive and distributed agent-based
workflow systems for managing and monitoring the workflow in dynamic
peer-to-peer (P2P), and wireless applications. Increasingly,
handheld wireless devices are being used by people on the move.
Software agent technology can be used to adapt the application to
the changing environment as the user move around. The FragME2004
wireless P2P platform has been developed that supports the development
of wireless games and two wireless P2P games have been developed
so far: RoboJoust and
Purvis – Narrative-based Interaction. Narrative techniques
are being developed to enhance the interactive nature of distributed
and agent-based systems and to enrich these interactions by incorporating
multimedia. See Klaas-Jan Winkel's thesis
on this topic.
and trust in distributed systems.
agents embodied as physical robots.
Computational Architectures. A new general approach for
Evolvable Virtual Machines (EVMs) has been developed which has the
potential to evolve hierarhchical, cooperating agent machine structures.
Mobile Multimedia Social Networking (MMSN)
project is a proposed partnership with Telecom NZ to develop technology
for expanding social networking interaction opportunities across New
Computing Technology & Applications (DCT&A)
Research Project. This programme, funded by FRST, developed
technology that can help organisations realise the potential of
distributed interactive systems. The technical foundation of this
work, software agent technology, provides mechanisms for information
exchange in distributed, open systems. The research involved the
development of improved agent-based development tools, supporting
component services, and the demonstration of applications in the
area of integrated access to distributed knowledge sources. The
basic research goals of this project continue to be a focus of research
at the DC&SA Research Centre. (funded project completed 2007)
Information Systems project. The goal of this work was to develop
advanced distributed information system technology that enables
users and enterprises to access and integrate information from all
available sources in a timely and useful fashion. Agent technology
has been used in the New Zealand Distributed Information Systems
(NZDIS) funded by the New
Zealand Foundation for Ressearch Science & Technology (FRST).
(funded project completed 2002)