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The Forest Behind the Trees: Rethinking Multi-Agent Systems for the World Wide Web

26/06/2019 - by Dr Andrei Ciortea (University St Gallen)



Abstract:
The World Wide Web has evolved drastically over the past decade – and the proliferation of Web APIs has turned it into the middleware of choice for most distributed systems. The recent focus on hypermedia-driven APIs together with initiatives such as the Web of Things and Linked Data are now promoting and advancing the development of a new generation of dynamic, open, and long-lived systems on the Web. This evolution raises new challenges: to discover, consume, and integrate hypermedia-driven APIs at runtime, Web clients have to become increasingly autonomous in pursuit of their design objectives. Such autonomous systems have been studied to a large extent in research on multi-agent systems (MAS). This talk explores the intersection of Web and MAS research, and discusses a new class of MAS designed for the Web. These MAS, which we call Hypermedia MAS, use hypermedia as a general mechanism for uniform interaction such that they are aligned with the Web architecture and inherit its properties. The talk covers several demonstrators, in particular a prototypical system for industrial manufacturing developed at Siemens Corporate Technology, and discusses some of the challenges and implications of bringing autonomous systems on the Web.

Speaker's Bio:
Andrei Ciortea is a postdoctoral researcher with the Chair for Interaction- and Communication-based Systems at the University of St. Gallen (HSG), and an external collaborator of the Wimmics team at Inria, Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, I3S. His main research interests include Internet-scale multi-agent systems (MAS), hypermedia systems, Web of Things (WoT), and socio-technical networks. Prior to joining HSG, Andrei had a 6-month research visit with Siemens’ Web of Things research group in Berkeley, California, where he was the principal investigator and lead architect of a system for intelligent manufacturing that integrated MAS with WoT systems. Andrei is a participant to the W3C WoT Working Group, and a founding member of the Romanian Association for Artificial Intelligence (ARIA). In ARIA, he served as a member of the board of directors since 2011. Andrei obtained his PhD in January 2016 from Mines Saint-Étienne and University "Politehnica" of Bucharest (joint supervision).


FORUM NUMERICA is sponsored by the Academy of Excellence “Networks, Information and Digital Society” of Université Côte d'Azur.