EMAS 2019: Keynote Speakers

Munindar P. Singh (North Carolina State University)

Engineering Ethical Multiagent Systems

(with Nirav Ajmeri, Amit Chopra, Hui Guo, Pradeep Murukannaiah)

Advances in AI techniques and platforms have triggered a lively discourse on ethical decision making by autonomous agents. Much recent work in AI concentrates on the challenges of moral decision making from a decision-theoretic perspective, and especially the representation of various ethical dilemmas. Such dilemmas in general do not yield productive research questions.

In contrast, we consider ethics not from the standpoint of decision making by an agent but of the wider sociotechnical systems (STS) in which the agent operates. We address the problem of designing ethical systems founded on governance based on stakeholder values and social norms, which yield a precise conception is accountability. We turn to the work of Rawls as a basis for criteria to judge ethicality.

We address the problem of designing agents that navigate social norms by selecting ethically appropriate actions by understanding their users' preferences among values. Our framework incorporates multi-criteria decision making to aggregate value preferences of users and select an ethically appropriate action. We find via a simulation seeded with a survey of user values and attitudes that our agents produce ethical actions that exhibit the Rawlsian property of fairness and yield a satisfactory social experience to their users.

About Munindar P. Singh

Dr. Munindar P. Singh is an Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. Munindar's research interests include artificial intelligence and multiagent systems with applications in cybersecurity, privacy, and social computing. He is a codirector of the DoD-sponsored Science of Security Lablet at NCSU, one of six nationwide.

Munindar was the editor-in-chief of the ACM Transactions on Internet Technology from 2012 to 2018 and the editor-in-chief of IEEE Internet Computing from 1999 to 2002. His current editorial service includes IEEE Internet Computing, Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, IEEE Transactions on Services Computing, and ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology. His previous editorial service includes the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research and the Journal of Web Semantics. Munindar served on the founding board of directors of IFAAMAS, the International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and MultiAgent Systems. He also served on the founding steering committee for the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing. Munindar was a general cochair for the 2015 International Conference on Autonomous Agents and MultiAgent Systems and a general cochair for the 2016 International Conference on Service-Oriented Computing.

Munindar is a Fellow of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). He won the 2016 IFAAMAS Influential Paper Award for his 1998 paper on agent communication. He won NC State University's Outstanding Research Achievement Award in 2015 and 2017, was selected as an Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor in 2016, and is a member of NCSU's Research Leadership Academy. Munindar's research has been recognized with awards and sponsorship by (alphabetically) Army Research Lab, Army Research Office, Cisco Systems, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, DARPA, Department of Defense, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, National Science Foundation, and Xerox. Twenty-six students have received PhD degrees and thirty students MS degrees under Munindar's direction.

Home page: http://www.csc.ncsu.edu/faculty/mpsingh/
CV: http://www.csc.ncsu.edu/faculty/mpsingh/mps/Singh-CV.pdf
Slides: https://www.csc2.ncsu.edu/faculty/mpsingh/papers/positions/Singh-ethics-EMAS-may-19.pdf

Jamal Bentahar (Concordia University)

Commitment, Knowledge and Trust: from Modeling to Verification

Commitments, knowledge and trust are fundamental concepts for modeling and reasoning about multiagent systems. Social commitments provide a basis for capturing flexible and declarative agent communication. Their interaction with knowledge allows expressing interesting reasoning postulates combining social and mental approaches of communication. Trust captures expectations agents can have towards each other. In this talk, I will present temporal logics for these concepts and their verification, capitalizing on the perspective of agent interactions. Different verification techniques and tools will be presented to model check the developed logics.

About Jamal Bentahar

Jamal Bentahar received the Ph.D. degree in computer science and software engineering from Laval University, Canada, in 2005. He is a Professor with Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering, at Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science, Concordia University, Canada. From 2005 to 2006, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow with Laval University, and then NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at Simon Fraser University, Canada. He was NSERC Co-Chair for Discovery Grant from 2016 to 2018. His research interests include the areas of computational logics, model checking, multiagent systems, service and cloud computing, applied game theory, and software engineering.

Alessio Lomuscio (Imperial College London)

Verifying the Correctness and Robustness of Paramaterised Multi-Agent Systems.

Paramaterised Multi-Agent Systems (PMAS) are Multi-Agent Systems whose size cannot be determined at design time. Examples of these include swarm robotic systems, MAS operating internet-of-things environments, and beyond.

In this talk I will argue that being able to give guarantees on the correctness and robustness of these systems is just as important as validating a specific system where the number of agents is known at design time. I will then introduce the parameterised model checking problem, as the decision of problem of establishing whether a system composed by an arbitrary number of agents satisfies a given specification, and observe that it is undecidable in general. I will then discuss semantic restrictions on the classes of MAS that make the problem decidable and present methods based on simulations and counter-abstraction to solve the verification problem. If time permits, I will present MCMAS-P, an open-source verification toolkit for the verification of parameterised multi-agent systems.

I will then discuss the concept of robustness in the context of parameterised multi-agent systems by introducing notions of fault-tolerance and introducing methods to establish the extent to which a multi-agent system or arbitrary size is robust with respect to possible run-time faults.

The talk will be based on joint work with Panagiotis Kouvaros and Edoardo Pirovano.

About Alessio Lomuscio

Alessio Lomuscio (http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~alessio), PhD in 1999, is professor of Logic in Multi-Agent Systems in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London (UK), where he leads the Verification of Autonomous Systems Group. He is a Fellow of the European Association of Artificial Intelligence and currently holds a Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies. He previously held an EPSRC Leadership Fellowship betwen 2010 and 2015.

Alessio's research interests concern the realisation of safe artificial intelligence. Since 2000, in collaboration with colleagues, he has worked on the development of formal methods for the verification of autonomous systems and multi-agent systems. To this end, he has put forward several methods based on model checking and various forms abstraction to verify AI systems. A particular focus of Alessio's work has been the attention to support AI specifications, including those concerning the knowledge and strategic properties of the agents in their interactions. The methods and resulting toolkits have found applications in autonomous vehicles, robotics, and swarms.

He has published over 150 papers in leading conferences in artificial intelligence (AAMAS, IJCAI, AAAI, ECAI), verification and formal methods (CAV, SEFM), and services (ICSOC, ICWS) and over 30 journal papers in leading journals (AIJ, JAIR, JAAMAS, etc).