Project Specific Objectives

We specify the project's objectives by indicating the expected output for each objective and the criteria that will be used to verify that output. These criteria can be (a) subjective, i.e. relying upon a project-centric assessment undertaken internally by the consortium, or (b) objective, i.e. relying upon scientific and/or technological assessment by peer review or other appropriate measurement:

O1.  To specify the knowledge and behaviour of individual computees, abstracting away from their actual internal structure/configuration/design. This specification includes the interface between the computees and the environment in which they are situated, which contains the other computees.

O1 will deliver appropriate logic-based models to represent the knowledge, reasoning capabilities and behaviour of computees. Such models will be tested by (a) subjective criteria: "are the models sufficiently rich to encompass the tasks, activities and roles of computees in specific societies, as they arise in concrete applications?"; and (b) objective criteria: ratification of the proposed models by peer review and by comparison with existing (logic- and non-logic-based) models and functionalities in the relevant literature, e.g. that on agents and artificial intelligence .

O2. To specify the interactions between computees and the formation of societies of computees emerging from such interactions.

O2 will deliver a formal logic-based framework to characterise the interactions between computees in a rule-based manner, either by relying on protocols shared and agreed upon by all computees in a given society, or by interaction patterns that are specific to individual computees and possibly different for different computees. O2 will be validated by (a) subjective criteria: "is the framework rich enough to accommodate varieties of interactive behaviours of computees?", "is the framework suitable for interactions taking place in applications where protocols cannot be imposed in advance, due to the complex nature of global computing environments?"; "how can individual interaction patterns be combined, and which global properties will then hold?" and (b) objective criteria: "how do such interaction patterns relate to existing protocols like those envisaged by standardisation bodies?" .

O3. To provide a computational framework in which the expected behaviour of the computees is achieved.

O3 will deliver a computational counterpart to the logic-based models developed within objectives O1-O2, in the form of advanced extensions and integration of existing computational logic proof procedures. O3 will be validated by (a) subjective criteria: the computational framework should fall within the realms of logic and should provably correspond to the models in O1-O2, in that it should allow to automatise computees so that they exhibit behaviour as specified in O1-O2; and (b) objective criteria: ratification of the proposed framework by peer review and by testing on concrete examples .

O4. To identify and specify desired properties that should be satisfied by the individual computees as well as by the societies of computees as a whole.

O4 will propose a substantial number of interesting properties, such as: characterisation of computees according to their social behaviour (e.g. their "selfishness" or "altruism"), termination of interactions between computees, effectiveness of communication towards the achievement of the computees' objectives, compliance of the computees' behaviour to interaction protocols, and so on. O4 will be validated by (a) subjective criteria: "are any of the identified properties useful for concrete applications?"; "do they provide guidance in designing and specifying practical applications?" and (b) objective criteria: "how do the identified properties relate to existing ones, e.g. as provided by game-theoretic accounts?" .

O5. To verify when computees and societies of computees satisfy/violate these properties.

O5 will provide formal verification of the properties identified in O4, without having to resort to empirical simulation as a way of predicting behaviour of concrete realisations of (societies of) computees. In particular, we will prove/disprove properties of societies given properties of the individual computees inhabiting them. O5 will be validated by (a) subjective criteria: "is the logic-based formal and computational framework developed in O1-O3 sufficiently rich to support the verification of properties?" and (b) objective criteria: "how does the resulting framework for verification compare with existing deductive and inductive approaches to validation?" .

O6. To evaluate and validate the framework by a series of controlled experiments.

O6 will deliver an empirical study of computees and their societies, grounded on a series of controlled experiments on a prototype demonstrator. This experimental process will test the models developed in O1-O5 under different conditions by varying the parameters of the framework (such as the reasoning capabilities of the individual computees, their mode of communication and interaction, the scale of density of computees in a society, the location of computees, and so on). The theoretical results from O1-O5 will make predictions that can be tested by experiments. These experiments can also demonstrate unforeseen behaviour, which can guide us to further properties to specify and verify formally, within O4-O5. O6 will also show that the logic-based framework developed can provide a practical basis for the design of classes of systems and applications which require aggregate behaviour of computational entities .


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