Based on the approach mentioned in Detailed Study Design, the project is divided into the following workpackages.

WP0: Project Management
WP1: A logic-based model for computees
WP2: Modelling interactions between computees
WP3: Computational models for (societies of) computees
WP4: Prototype demonstrator
WP5: Verifiable properties of (societies of) computees
WP6: Experimentation

A general overview of the project workpackages, their contents and relationships, and of their relationships with the objectives, is as follows.

The project consists of three phases, each corresponding to a year.

The first phase aims at identifying formal, computational logic-based models for representing knowledge, reasoning and behaviour of computees in isolation (workpackage 1) and interactive behaviour of computees within the society they inhabit (workpackage 2). These models should allow to abstract away from the actual internal structure, design and realisation of the computees. More concretely, at the level of a single computee (workpackage 1), the model should provide ways to specify:

  • The knowledge upon which the reasoning capabilities of computee are based;
  • The local behaviour that a computee exhibits within a society;
  • The global behaviour that a computee may expect from other computees within a society.

At the level of a society (workpackage 2), the model should provide ways to specify:

  • Standards of interactive behaviour that the computees which belong to or enter the society should conform to;
  • Individual patterns of interactive behaviour, reflecting the heterogeneity of computees;

We envisage negotiation, possibly via constructive argumentation, as a privileged form of interaction, in that this will allow computees to coordinate their efforts, share their resources and reconcile any conflicting objectives. We also envisage hypothetical reasoning as a technique for dealing (intelligently) with incomplete information in open environments.

The second phase aims at providing a computational counterpart to the formal methods proposed in the first phase. The basic idea is to adapt and extend existing proof procedures for computational logic formalisms, so that the complex and composite functionalities required by our (societies of) computees can be achieved. These functionalities include reasoning with incomplete information, reasoning over time, in a dynamically changing environment, assimilating new knowledge and adapting behaviour. The integration of these functionalities within a single computational framework is non-trivial, and multiple such integrations will be possible. We aim at exploring such integrations in workpackage 3, and provide an animation of the resulting societies via a prototype demonstrator in workpackage 4.

 The third phase, in workpackage 5, aims at identifying and catering for the verification of "interesting" properties of:

  • individual computees, with respect to their specific knowledge and behaviour, and
  • societies of computees, in relation to the properties of the individual computees inhabiting them,

relying upon the logic-based modelling of (societies of) computees as resulting from phase 1. Then, in workpackage 6, these theoretical results will be tested by experiments with the animation of these societies as resulting from phase 2. The experiments will also be used to check for any unforeseen behaviour which can guide us to further properties to specify and verify formally, within workpackage 5.

Workpackage 0 runs through the three years of the project and is responsible for the administrative and technical management of the three technical phases and the consortium.

The workpackages outlined above will enable the SOCS project to achieve its objectives as follows. The objectives O1 and O2 are achieved by workpackages 1 and 2, respectively. Indeed, these workpackages are responsible for providing the formal methods required to satisfy O1 and O2, in the form of computational logic-based techniques. Objective O3 is achieved by workpackage 3, in that this aims at providing a computational counterpart to the formal logic-based techniques in workpackages 1 and 2. Objectives O4 and O5 are achieved by workpackage 5, responsible for identifying (O4) and verifying (O5) properties of (societies of) computees. Finally, objective O6 is achieved by the combination of workpackages 4 and 6, that will deliver a proof that the logic-based framework developed within SOCS can provide a practical basis for the design of classes of systems and applications that require aggregate behaviour of computational entities


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