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Timothy J. Norman Challenges for Effective Open Virtual Organisations Timothy J. Norman Department of Computing Science University of Aberdeen

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Presentation on theme: "Timothy J. Norman Challenges for Effective Open Virtual Organisations Timothy J. Norman Department of Computing Science University of Aberdeen"— Presentation transcript:

1 Timothy J. Norman Challenges for Effective Open Virtual Organisations Timothy J. Norman Department of Computing Science University of Aberdeen t.j.norman@abdn.ac.uk 8th Annual International Workshop on Engineering Societies in the Agents World

2 Timothy J. Norman Open Virtual Organisations –ADEPT –CONOISE/CONOISE-G –e-Institutions Semi-Structured Processes in Open Societies –Challenge 1: machine-readable organisations –Challenge 2: recognising the inevitability of conflict –Challenge 3: machinery for resolving conflicts Towards mixed initiative (Human-Agent) VOs Conclusions Outline Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 2 of 26

3 Timothy J. Norman What are OVOs? –Open systems – components (agents) may come and go –Organisation – system has some degree of established structure & operation A tension… –Suppose some agent plays a unique role in an organisation; that agent leaves! –Suppose a new agent appears offering a new service; restructure the organisation? Open Virtual Organisations Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 3 of 26

4 Timothy J. Norman Society vs. Process process closedopen society open closed Example 1 ADEPT Domain: business process management. N. R. Jennings, P. Faratin, T. J. Norman, P. O'Brien and B. Odgers (2000) Autonomous Agents for Business Process Management. Int. Journal of Applied Artificial Intelligence 14 (2) 145-189. ADEPT Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 4 of 26

5 Timothy J. Norman ADEPT Identify Requirements Profile Capture Customer Details Capture Customer Requirements Vet Customer Identify Service Final Costing Provide Quote Cost Network Survey and Design Network Analyse Requirements Legal Review Customer OK? Portfolio Item? Legal? Goto A terminate A Yes No Business process Organisational structure negotiation and service management Designer Agency Survey Team Quantity Surveyor Design team agency peers ServicesService-level agreements negotiation and service management Credit Vetting Agency Legal Agency Sales team Agency peers subsidiary Responsible agents (service name Vet_Customer inputs ( CCL_Customer customer_details cli man ) outputs( CCL_Decision verdict ) guard ("") body ( sequence { check_CCL ( details = service::customer_details service::verdict = limit ) } -> ( check_CCL ) ) ) => Service descriptions => Enactment through - SLA negotiation - Service & task execution - renegotiation Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 5 of 26

6 Timothy J. Norman +Decentralised workflow management +Flexibility – task/service scheduling, automated SLA (re-)negotiation –Process fixed at design time: –System organisation –Services –No workflow-level operational constraints or analysis –Throughput –Service delivery times –Quality control ADEPT: + & - Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 6 of 26

7 Timothy J. Norman Society vs. Process process closedopen society open closed Example 2 CONOISE CONOISE-G Domain: telecom services configuration. T. J. Norman, A. Preece, S. Chalmers, N. R. Jennings, M. Luck, V. D. Dang, T. D. Nguyen, V. Deora, J. Shao, W. A. Gray and N. J. Fiddian. (2004). Agent-based formation of virtual organisations, Knowledge-Based Systems 17:103­ 111. ADEPT Increased system flexibility/adaptation Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 7 of 26 Increased need to manage trust (security & privacy more complex) Increased heterogeneity of system components

8 Timothy J. Norman Offers received SP1 – 10 movies pcm, hourly news SP2 – hourly news SP3 – 120 texts AND 30 mins SP4 – 5 movies pcm, 30 mins Agents may Bid as an individual Bid representing an existing VO Form a VO to bid Agents prioritise commitments: may break a prior commitment to bid Package required by customer Movie subscription News service >50 free text messages per month 30 free phone minutes per month CONOISE Quality of offers assessed Best offer combination identified through reverse auction Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 8 of 26

9 Timothy J. Norman Open system –Agents may come and go –New services (or service packages) may be offered Open process –VOs exist for lifetime of service –Workflows composed of chained VOs No designed-in organisational structure –All agents are peers in competition –ADEPT-like workflow structure can emerge CONOISE Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 9 of 26

10 Timothy J. Norman Society vs. Process process closedopen society open closed Example 3 e-Institutions Agents may come and go Governed by institutional rules Process defined by institution A. García-Camino, J.-A. Rodríguez- Aguilar, C. Sierra, and W. Vasconcelos. (2006). Norm-Oriented Programming of Electronic Institutions. Int. Joint Conf. Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems. ADEPT Lets look a bit closer at this space Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 10 of 26

11 Timothy J. Norman Closed or Open Processes? processes closedopen society open Institution engenders trust (but agents must trust institution) Agents not permitted to act outside the protocol Security and privacy of information honoured Quality control Agents must decide who to trust Failure may affect reputation distrust What can/should be done & how information is used must be agreed e-Institutions encapsulate common episodal processes – why require agents to coordinate these at run-time? But which e-Institution offers the coordination services required? Challenge 1: Institutional rules/policies must be machine-understandable e-Institutions Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 11 of 26

12 Timothy J. Norman Semi-Structured Processes process closedopen society open e-Institutions semi-structured Machine-understandable institutions M. J. Kollingbaum & T. J. Norman (2002). Supervised Interaction, AAMAS A language for describing contracts contract ( LoC, role ( ?cust ) role ( ?sup ) role ( ?bank ) obl ( … ), per ( … ) … ) Reasoning machinery to interpret and negotiate contracts Institutional elements to host contract enactment Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 12 of 26

13 Timothy J. Norman Project PI (agent α) has contract with funding body, β, such that α is: Example: eScience O α:pi report_results(α, R) F X:Y publish(D) F α:pi claim(X) P α:pi claim(staff_costs) P α:pi claim(travel) –Obliged to report experimental results –Forbidden from publishing source data –Limited to spending project funds on staff and travel costs β α Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 13 of 26

14 Timothy J. Norman Suppose α needs to sub-contract a task to generate results It has two options: Example: sub-contracting O X:Y publish(D) O X:Y pay(fee) we also know that pay(X) A:R A:R claim(X) a.Agent γ is a publicly funded organisation that performs the task for free but requires data to be published b.Agent δ is a private organisation that charges a fee β α γ δ Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 14 of 26

15 Timothy J. Norman Regardless of what α does, it will violate the contract with β Example: conflict O α:pi report_results(α, R) F X:Y publish(D) F α:pi claim(X) P α:pi claim(staff_costs) P α:pi claim(travel) β α γ δ 1.No sub-contract O α:pi report_results(α, R) F X:Y publish(D) F α:pi claim(X) P α:pi claim(staff_costs) P α:pi claim(travel) O α:pi report_results(α, R) F X:Y publish(D) F α:pi claim(X) P α:pi claim(staff_costs) P α:pi claim(travel) 2.Sub-contract to γ O X:Y publish(D) 2.Sub-contract to δ O X:Y pay(fee) pay(X) A:R A:R claim(X) Challenge 2: agents must be able to recognise conflict situations Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 15 of 26

16 Timothy J. Norman Informs agent of the implications of signing a contract (adopting the policy of an e-Institution) Enables focussed deliberation on what to violate, and hence what sanctions may be imposed Agents have social autonomy Could also guide conflict resolution… Utilising Detected Conflicts Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 16 of 26

17 Timothy J. Norman NoA (Kollingbaum & Norman) –Normative Architecture –Encodes possible plans and active norms in an adapted RETE network –Efficiently identifies whether a new norm is in conflict and what with (given options for action) FOUND! (Vasconcelos, Kollingbaum & Norman) –First-Order Unification for Norm Deliberation –Norms combined with constraints on their application and domain axioms –Also tells us how the conflict can be resolved Conflict detection mechanisms Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 17 of 26

18 Timothy J. Norman Example: NEO Non-combatant Evacuation Operation Reports are received of NGO workers requiring assistance Top priority mission to evacuate NGO workers Task allocated to Team A commander Teams A and B are different coalition partners Team A –Based on carrier off coast (South) –UAVs with sensors to provide on-going visual surveillance –Group of helicopters within range of NGO workers Team B resources –Based to the North-East on land –Group of helicopters within range of NGO workers –Mechanised infantry Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 18 of 26

19 Timothy J. Norman Example: NEO Norms Most effective plan: deploy UAV; assess situation; deploy helis; coordinate with UAV intelligence Team A operates under the following norms: –Commander is obliged to evacuate the NGO workers (from NEO mission policy) –Team A is forbidden from sharing UAV-obtained intelligence with other coalition partners (from coalition operations policy) –Helicopters are forbidden from flying in bad weather (from safety policy) Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 19 of 26

20 Timothy J. Norman Example: NEO Enactment AUV is deployed Information from flight operations: deteriorating weather conditions Conflict: –Continuing with Heli operation from carrier would violate safety policy –Delegating Heli evacuation to team B would violate coalition operations policy in sharing UAV intelligence –Failing to continue with NEO will violate mission policy Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 20 of 26

21 Timothy J. Norman Need for Conflict Resolution Time and safety-critical scenario Norm violation not an option Must resolve conflict –Automatically, or –By requesting human intervention into the decision-making Challenge 3: Agents should have machinery to suggest resolutions to or to automatically resolve conflicts Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 21 of 26

22 Timothy J. Norman Example: Conflict Resolution FOUND! used to identify norm conflict FOUND! offers resolution on the basis of meta- policy (or conflict resolution strategy) legis superioris Proposal presented to Team A commander: –Curtail coalition operations policy regarding UAV intelligence sharing in this instance –Delegate Heli evacuation of NGO workers to team B –Instruct AUV intelligence group and team B Heli group to coordinate the rescue mission Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 22 of 26

23 Timothy J. Norman Human-Agent Teamwork This example –Further demonstrates the utility of norm conflict detection and resolution –Illustrates the need to refocus on teamwork –But not agent teamwork (ala. Cohen & Levesque; Tambe; etc.), humans and agents working as a team Agents can use these techniques to aid humans in making complex decisions –Monitoring and restricting information flows –Managing and supporting trusted virtual environments within which humans operate Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 23 of 26

24 Timothy J. Norman Open Virtual Organisations need –Models of Norms/Contracts/Policies that are machine-readable –Mechanisms to efficiently identify norm conflicts –Mechanisms to resolve conflicts, or to coherently present solutions to users Summary Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 24 of 26

25 Timothy J. Norman Other Dimensions process closedopen Increased process complexity Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 25 of 26 e-Institutions Increased system scale OVOs This is where we need to go!

26 Timothy J. Norman ADEPT (1995-1998) – Nick Jennings CONOISE/CONOISE-G (2000-2006) – Alun Preece (now Cardiff) Nir Oren (now KCL) Nick Jennings Mike Luck NoA (2000-2003) – Martin Kollingbaum (now CMU) FOUND! – Wamberto Vasconcelos (Aberdeen) ITA (International Technology Alliance) (2006-2016) – Wamberto Vasconcelos, Derek Sleeman, Katia Sycara (CMU), Simon Parsons (CUNY) ALIVE (FP7) – from 2008 Acknowledgements Timothy J. NormanESAW 2007, Athens 26 of 26


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