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Robotic telescope networks, agent architectures and event messaging Alasdair Allan Tim Naylor Eric Saunders University of Exeter Iain Steele Chris Mottram.

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Presentation on theme: "Robotic telescope networks, agent architectures and event messaging Alasdair Allan Tim Naylor Eric Saunders University of Exeter Iain Steele Chris Mottram."— Presentation transcript:

1 Robotic telescope networks, agent architectures and event messaging Alasdair Allan Tim Naylor Eric Saunders University of Exeter Iain Steele Chris Mottram Liverpool John Moores University Tim Jenness Frossie Economou Brad Cavanagh Andy Adamson Joint Astronomy Centre, Hawaii

2 VOEvent Workshop, Apr What is an agent anyway? An agent is just software not magic Loosely, an agent is a computational entity which: Acts on behalf of another entity in an autonomous fashion Performs its actions with some level of proactivity and/or responsiveness Exhibits some level of the key attributes of learning, co-operation and mobility

3 VOEvent Workshop, Apr Agents as architecture From a developers perspective there are five major trends which are evident from the history of computing. These are, –ubiquity –interconnection –intelligence –delegation –human-orientation Agent architectures are the next paradigm shift following these trends.

4 VOEvent Workshop, Apr The intelligence thing… The complexity of tasks that we are capable of automating and delegating to computers has grown steadily If you dont feel comfortable with this definition of intelligence, its probably because youre human

5 VOEvent Workshop, Apr The delegation thing… Computers are doing more for us – without our intervention We are giving control to computers, even in safety critical tasks One example: fly-by-wire aircraft, where the machines judgment may be trusted more than an experienced pilot

6 VOEvent Workshop, Apr Multi-agent systems A multi-agent system is one that consists of a number of agents, which interact with one-another. In the most general case, agents will be acting on behalf of users with different goals and motivations. To successfully interact, they will require the ability to cooperate, coordinate, and negotiate with each other, much as people do…

7 VOEvent Workshop, Apr Barriers and Flatness If you put barriers in the way of people who want to do something, they will find ways around these barriers. The real world does not operate in a hierarchical manner. In the real world you usually know someone, who knows someone, who knows what you want.

8 VOEvent Workshop, Apr Peer-to-Peer Agents operate in a peer-to-peer manner and can make use of these interconnections between people and data. Carrying out intelligent resource discovery could mean that your agent looks to your collaborators agent for data and expertise before it looks to central sources.

9 VOEvent Workshop, Apr The world is flat… The world is small and flat, but it is none the less still very complex. Architectures which take account of this are intuitive, and will map well into the real world. Those that do not will have problems. © Terry Pratchett

10 VOEvent Workshop, Apr The eSTAR concept Two fundamental ideas behind the project which makes it unique: Treat telescopes and databases in a similar manner, both being made available on the Observational Grid. The main user of the Grid and the Virtual Observatories (VO) should not be humans, but autonomous intelligent agents.

11 VOEvent Workshop, Apr Multi-agent systems for eSTAR The eSTAR uses the collaborative agent paradigm, with a flat peer-to- peer network topology. A hierarchical system would not be robust, or scale well, and its not the way the real world operates. Weve built the first agent based astronomical system, and it was clearly the correct choice of architecture.

12 VOEvent Workshop, Apr We are not alone… The Thinking Telescope System (Los Alamos)

13 VOEvent Workshop, Apr The short term plan… We have an exciting time ahead: Currently deploying on UKIRT in collaboration with the JAC to do real time GRB follow-up [APR] Deploy eSTAR onto Robonet-1.0 to allow it to carry out observations using adaptive dataset planning and do micro- lensing work this summer [MAY] Finish work on the WFCAM/eSTAR Transient Object Detection Agent in collaboration with the JAC [JULY]

14 VOEvent Workshop, Apr eSTAR and UKIRT All aspects of an observation programme at the JAC are either software readable or software controllable To the agent its irrelevant thats there is a human in the loop Agents now being deployed to carry out GRB follow-up © Nik Szymanek

15 VOEvent Workshop, Apr eSTAR and Robonet-1.0 Searching for extra-Solar planets using gravitational microlensing in the galactic bulge Real time GRB follow-up using the same agent software as UKIRT Consortium open time, a testbed for our adaptive dataset planning work

16 VOEvent Workshop, Apr The eSTAR network © Nik Szymanek UKIRT at JACH User Agents The Grid Embedded Agent Robonet-1.0 Embedded Agent OGLE Observations Alert Agent GCN Alerts Alert Agent Alert Agent WFCAM The VO

17 VOEvent Workshop, Apr In the longer term… Adding more telescopes, means the network becomes heterogeneous. Does that mean more complexity? What about the existing proprietary networks? Need to establish interoperability between the existing networks. Standards based, using RTML over SOAP (and VOEvent for notification?)

18 VOEvent Workshop, Apr The eSTAR meta-network User Agents The Grid Broker Service Proprietary Telescope Network Alert Agent

19 VOEvent Workshop, Apr A Grid Market User Agents The Grid Grid Market Broker Service Proprietary Telescope Network Broker Service Proprietary Telescope Network The Virtual Observatory Broker Service

20 VOEvent Workshop, Apr What about event notification Needs to be, –light-weight, so easily implemented –extensible, so easily modified –built to be interpreted by software, not humans Must take the peer-to-peer nature of agent architectures into account, there will be more parsing of messages going on than you might expect.

21 VOEvent Workshop, Apr What is the minimal specification? Probably needs to specify, –What –Where –When –Who But can get away without, –What –Who

22 VOEvent Workshop, Apr What is a minimal VOEvent?

23 VOEvent Workshop, Apr Coordinate representation The following will handle most cases, J T12:36:

24 VOEvent Workshop, Apr More complex cases? But the more complex cases may need STC, T12:36:

25 VOEvent Workshop, Apr Instrument representation Can be inline, or you should be able to point to a URI,.

26 VOEvent Workshop, Apr Pointers to documents? Or perhaps even this, In some cases you could actually do this,

27 VOEvent Workshop, Apr Summary Events need to be passed through multiple systems, parsed, interpreted and routed. Need a light-weight standard that is easy to implement. The importance of being able to use URIs to point to (sub-)documents cant be overstressed. And finally, an invitation…

28 VOEvent Workshop, Apr The HTN Workshop July Aims Establish the standards for interoperability between robotic telescope networks Work towards the establishment of an e-market for the exchange of telescope time Establish the standards for interoperability with the Virtual Observatory (VO) for event notification See htn-workshop2005.ex.ac.ukhtn-workshop2005.ex.ac.uk Science Goal Monitor


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