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Undicesimo Workshop Nazionale
"Dagli Oggetti agli Agenti"
Rimini, 5-6-7 Settembre 2010




In occasione di WOA 2010, il giorno 5 Settembre 2010 - nel pomeriggio - si terrā presso l'Hotel Ambasciatori di Rimini una mini-scuola rivolta a studenti e dottorandi.

La mini-scuola č gratuita e aperta a tutti gli interessati previa iscrizione da effettuarsi inviando un messaggio all'indirizzo e-mail


specificando "iscrizione alla mini-scuola" nell'oggetto del messaggio. La mini-scuola fornira' un attestato di partecipazione.



[14:00 - 14:20] Registrazione (valida anche per il workshop)


[14:20 - 14:30] Apertura mini-scuola

  14:20 - 14:30 Benvenuto e Introduzione - Alessandro Ricci, Universitā di Bologna

[14:30 - 15:45] Primo talk

  14:30 - 15:45 Fondamenti di BPM Contemporaneo: Tendenze e Convergenze con le Tecnologie ad Agenti.", a cura di Giovanni Rimassa, Whitestein Technologies, Zurigo

[15:45 - 16:00] Coffee Break


[16:00 - 17:15] Secondo talk

  16:00 - 17:15 "Regulating agent interactions in open MAS", a cura di Matteo Baldoni e Viviana Patti, Universitā di Torino

[17:15 - 17:30] Coffee Break


[17:30 - 18:45] Terzo talk

  17:30 - 18:45 "From Coordination to Semantic Self-Organisation: A Perspective on the Engineering of Complex Systems", a cura di Andrea Omicini, Universitā di Bologna

[18:45] Chiusura scuola


Descrizione interventi


Primo intervento:


Speakers: Matteo Baldoni, Viviana Patti.

Titolo: Regulating agent interactions in open MAS.

Abstract: Interaction and communication are fundamental abstractions of any distributed system, especially when cross-business and business-to-business systems are to be developed. Multi-agent systems (MAS) are the tools that currently better meet the needs emerging in this context because they offer proper abstractions: in an open MAS the interacting agents are typically designed and implemented by different parties, and may represent confiicting interests. As a consequence, interaction would not even be possible unless agents are designed to comply with well-defined standards. One example is the FIPA Agent Communication Language, that specifies the semantics of a set of uttarences that agents can use to exchange messages.
A key issue in designing MAS is to regulate interactions between the autonomous parties so that it produces a desirable outcome. To this aim, a particularly interesting approach consists in adopting interaction protocols, meant as shared specifications of behavioral patterns which allow a set of agents to cooperate when they play their respective roles. Besides simplifying the coordination problems, protocols introduce the possibility of performing verification tasks. This aspect is very important because another key concern in this kind of systems is, in fact, to have guaranties on how the interaction takes place, introducing also a notion of responsibility and of commitment.
Interaction protocols can be formally specified in different ways. Some representations have a procedural nature that captures the allowed interaction flows. For what concerns the verification of properties, in this context reachability algorithms, techniques for the verification of deadlock-freeness, alternated simulation or (bi)simulation techniques have been proposed for verifying the conformance of agents to roles and for guaranteeing the substitutability of implementations (agents) to specifications (roles) in a way that preserves the interoperability of the involved parties.
Singh and colleagues criticize the use of procedural specifications as being too rigid and propose the more flexible commitment-based approach to protocol specification. The greatest advantage of the commitment-based protocols is that they do not over-constrain the behavior of the agents by imposing an ordering on the execution of the shared actions. Moreover, by giving a shared meaning to the social actions, they make it possible to work on common knowledge, rather than on beliefs about each others' mental state, as instead is done in mentalistic approaches to communication.
Similar issues are found in the areas of "Organizational Theory" and "Electronic Institutions", so that it is possible to make a parallel between protocol-based interaction rules and institution/organization norms.

Note bibliografiche sui relatori:

  • Matteo Baldoni is an associate professor at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Torino since 2006. He took his "Laurea" degree "summa cum laude" in Computer Science in February 1993 and his Ph.D. in Computer Science in May 1998, both at the University of Torino. From February through October 1998 he was research fellow at the Laboratoire d'Informatique de Marseille (LIM) with a grant from Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR). From November 1998 through July 1999 he was research fellow at Department of Computer Science of Torino with a grant from CNR. From July 1999 through September 2006 he has been researcher at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Torino. In the last years the research activity of Matteo Baldoni focused on the areas of Agent Oriented and Service Oriented Computing and of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, with particular interest on the use of methodologies and techniques derived from computational logic. Such activity is divided in three main topics: "agents and services", "modeling and reasoning on curricula in the semantic web", and "introduction of roles and relations in object and agent oriented programming languages". In particular, he faced the issue of reasoning about protocols from the subjective point of view of an agent playing a role, and the issue of interoperability and conformance. He is a member of Steering Committee of the workshops Declarative Agent Languages and Technologies (DALT), co-located with AAMAS, and From Object to Agent (WOA). He has been co-Chair of DALT from 2005 through 2009, WOA 2004, 2008, 2009, MALLOW-AWESOME 2007 and 2009. He chairs the working group Sistemi ad Agenti e Multiagente of the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence. He has been program committee member of various international events such as IJCAI'09, AAMAS'10, '09 and '08, EUMAS'08 and 2007, WEBIST'08 and 2007, ProMAS'09-'08-'09, WS-FM'08-'07-'06.

  • Viviana Patti is a researcher associate in Computer Science at the Faculty of Science of the University of Torino since 2005. She received a degree summa cum laude in Philosophy in 1996 and a Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2002 from the same university. She is author of more than 50 scientific papers, published in conference proceedings, books and international journals. Her research interests focused on knowledge representation, automated reasoning and computational logic and included: modal and nonmonotonic extensions of logic programming, computational logics for agent programming, reasoning enabling personalization in the semantic web. Recently most of her research is focused on interoperability and conformance verification in presence of interaction protocols, semantic web services and formal methods for selection and composition, choreography-driven matchmaking, web-based education courseware and curricula, capturing semantics in social tagging systems. In these research areas,she has been involved both in national and international projects. She has been a member of the European network of excellence of the 6th framework REWERSE, Reasoning on the Web with Rules and Semantics (2004-2008). In the last two years she was a member of the Vigoni international research program on "Capturing Semantics in Social Tagging Systems". Since 2002 she has a continuing research collaboration with the Institut für Verteilte Systeme-Fachgebiet Wissensbasierte Systeme & L3S, U. of Hannover (DE) on "Personalization in the semantic web" and "Semantics in social tagging systems". Since 2007 she has an on-going collaboration with Prof. M. Singh's research group at the Dep. of Comp. Science, NCSU (Raleigh, USA) on "Interoperability, and Conformance in Interaction Protocols and Service Choreographies". As vice-president of the Associatione Culturale Arsmeteo, she leads the development of web 2.0 Arsmeteo portal (www.arsmeteo.org).


Secondo intervento:


Speaker: Giovanni Rimassa.

Titolo: Fondamenti di BPM Contemporaneo: Tendenze e Convergenze con le Tecnologie ad Agenti.

Abstract: Business Process Management (BPM) came about in the last years as a discipline that strives to comprehensively manage an enterprise's business processes throughout their life cycle, from conception through modeling, execution, and optimization. With the support of suitable methodology and technology, BPM aims among other things to become a new way to deliver flexible, model-centric business applications to any industry domain.
Due to a series of concurring factors from market, technology, and human sources, the first activity- and flow-centric waves of BPM technology are increasingly being strained to deliver what they promise. A number of advancements can be made by leveraging ideas and techniques from Agent Technology, such as human/system cooperation, goal orientation, and the social level of system organization.
The lesson will outline the current status of the BPM discipline, market, and technology, as well as point out the current state-of-the-art infrastructure and relevant standards (notably the BPMN language). Then, it will present improvements ideas in various areas, making the connection to the relevant concepts of Agent Technology and, where possible, showing concrete examples with a specific BPM suite.

Note bibliografiche sul relatore: Giovanni Rimassa is Product Manager at Whitestein Technologies AG in Zürich, Switzerland. He is leading product concept, innovation, and marketing for Whitestein's novel goal-oriented Business Process Management Suite. He is also involved in several projects within the Advanced Technologies Line of Business at Whitestein, dealing with software products and solutions based on Agent Technology. He holds a Ph. D. in Information Technology from the University of Parma, Italy. Since 1995, he has been involved in applied research on concurrent and distributed systems, software engineering and artificial intelligence in both academic and industrial setting, authoring more than 50 papers in international refereed journals, conferences and workshops. He was one of the main contributors to JADE , an open source agent platform that runs from J2ME MIDP to J2EE and is one of the most popular middleware systems to build multi-agent systems.


Terzo intervento:


Speaker: Andrea Omicini.

Titolo: From Coordination to Semantic Self-Organisation: A Perspective on the Engineering of Complex Systems

Abstract: After briefly recapitulating the classical lines of the literature on coordination models, we discuss the new lines of research that aim at addressing the coordination of complex systems, then focus on mechanisms and patterns of coordination for self-organising systems. The notions of semantic coordination and self-organising coordination are defined and shortly discussed, then a vision of SOSC (self-organising semantic coordination) is presented, along with some insights over available technologies and possible scenarios for SOSC.

Note bibliografiche sul relatore: Andrea Omicini is Professor at the DEIS (Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informatica e Sistemistica) of the Alma Mater Studiorum-Universitā di Bologna in the field of Computer Engineering. His research interests include multi-agent systems, coordination models and languages, intelligent systems, declarative and multi-paradigm programming languages, software infrastructures, and Internet technologies.
He wrote over 220 articles on these topics, edited 10 international books on agent-related issues, and guest-edited 15 special issues of international journals. He also held several tutorials on agent-based systems and coordination models at international conferences and schools.
He organised and chaired several international conferences and workshops -- among which AAMAS 2002, DALT 2003-2005, 2010, SELMAS 2002, CIA 2003, ESAW 2000-2001,2003-2004, ACM SAC 2004-2005, EUMAS 2006, ITMAS 2010. Before WOA 2010, he chaired WOA 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, and 2000 -- that is, the first WOA edition.