Twelfth International Workshop CIA 2008 on


Cooperative Information Agents

September 10 - 12, 2008

CzechTechnical University, Prague, Czech Republic

In cooperation with ACM SIGART, SIGWEB, SIGKDD


Agents and Semantic Services: A Critical Review

Katia Sycara (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)

Abstract: In this talk, I will present requirements and extensions on web services functionality for supporting business processes. Some of these extensions include peer to peer and multi-party interactions, dynamic on the fly composition of web services, message patterns that go beyond request-response, contracts and service level agreements. In particular, I will articulate the importance of formally specied, unambiguous semantics for increasing service interoperability and exibility of interactions, thus bringing the services and agents paradigms and tech nologies closer to one another. A first step towards this rapprochement is the development of formal languages and inference mechanisms for representing and reasoning with core concepts of Web Services. In closing, I present my vision of Web services as autonomous goal-directed agents which select other agents to interact with, and exibly negotiate their interaction model, acting in peer to peer fashion. The resulting Web services, that I call Autonomous Semantic Web services, utilize ontologies and semantically annotated Web pages to automate the fulllment of tasks and transactions with other Web agents.


Agents and Databases: A Symbiosis?

Heiko Schuldt (University of Basel, Switzerland)

Abstract: Over the last decades, data and information management has been subject to significant changes. Access to data and information is no longer provided by monolithic database systems. Rather, applications need to cope with an increasing number of heterogeneous and distributed data and information sources, ranging from traditional databases, large document collections to information sources on the Internet and the Semantic Web.
This development also affects the way data and information is searched, accessed, and processed and has been addressed, in parallel but to a large extent independently, by the agent community and the database community.
The objective of this talk is to present some of these activities, with a focus on recent developments coming from the database community. In particular, the hyperdatabase vision and two concrete realizations of this vision will be discussed in more detail to exemplify the relationship between both fields and to identify possibilities for symbiotic co-existence.

Enabling Networked Knowledge

Manfred Hauswirth (DERI Galway, Ireland)

Abstract: The wealth of information and services on today's information infrastructures has significantly changed everyday life and has substantially transformed the way in which business, public and private interactions are performed. The Web has enabled information creation and dissemination, but has also opened the information floodgates. The enormous amount of information available has made it increasingly difficult to find, access, present and maintain the information required. As a consequence, we are "drowning in information and starving for knowledge." Although knowledge is inherently strongly interconnected and related to people, this interconnectedness is not reflected or supported by current information infrastructures. The lack of interconnectedness hampers basic information management and problem-solving and collaboration capabilities, like finding, creating and deploying the right knowledge at the right time. Thus, the focus on "Enabling Networked Knowledge" is essential, where Networked Knowledge = Web + Semantics. Knowledge is the fuel of our increasingly digital service economy (versus manufacturing economy); linking information is the basis of economic productivity. This talk will discuss the research issues to realize the vision of Networked Knowledge.


Coordination and Agreement Technologies                  for Multi-Agent Systems

Sascha Ossowski (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain)

Abstract: It is commonly accepted that coordination is a key characteristic of multiagent systems and that, in turn, the capability of coordinating with others constitutes a centrepiece of agenthood. However, the key elements of coordination models, mechanisms, and languages for multiagent systems are still subject to considerable debate. In this talk, I will examine different stances on coordination, and outline various research issues related to coordination in multiagent systems. In particular, I will provide several examples of the benefits of using an organization-oriented approach towards the problem. I will then show how this perspective fits into current efforts working towards a paradigm for smart, next-generation distributed systems, where coordination is based on the concept of agreement between computational agents. Besides organizations, semantic alignment, norms, argumentation and negotiation, as well as trust and reputation mechanisms will be in the technology sandbox to support the definition, specification, and verification of such systems.


Agent-Supported Planning in Distributed Command and Control Environments

James H. Lawton (US Air Force Research Lab, USA)

Abstract:   To be able to meet the future challenge of employing forces anywhere in the world in support of national security objectives, modern military forces require highly synchronized, distributed planning and re-planning capabilities that are sufficiently flexible to adapt to any level of conflict.  This talk will present a research program underway at the USAF Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate known as DEEP (Distributed Episodic Exploratory Planning). DEEP is an agent-based distributed planning system that has been designed to support future military command and control (C2) operations.   The talk will discuss the motivation for moving from a centralized planning model to a distributed mixed-initiative approach, along with the DEEP architecture and the key research challenges for achieving this vision. The distributed agent-supported planning capabilities, which utilize past experience to solve current problems, will be emphasized.

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