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  • 1.
    Kampik, Timotheus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Empathic Agents: A Hybrid Normative/Consequentialistic Approach2019In: AAMAS 2019, ASSOC COMPUTING MACHINERY , 2019, p. 2423-2425Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Complex information systems operate with increasing degrees of autonomy. Consequently, such systems should not only optimize for simple metrics (like clicks and views) that reflect the system provider's preferences but also consider norms or rules, as well as the preferences of other agents that are affected by the systems' actions. As a means to achieve such behavior, we propose the design and development of empathic agents that use a mixed rule/utility-based approach when deciding on how to act, considering both their own and others' utility functions. The agents make use of formal argumentation to reach an agreement on how to act in case of inconsistent beliefs. A promising domain for applying our empathic agents is recommender systems.

  • 2.
    Kampik, Timotheus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science. Signavio GmbH, Berlin, Germany.
    Malhi, Avleen
    Department of Computer Science, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland.
    Främling, Kary
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Agent-based Business Process Orchestration for IoT2019In: WI '19 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence / [ed] Payam Barnaghi, Georg Gottlob, Yannis Manolopoulos, Theodoros Tzouramanis, Athena Vakali, New York: ACM Press, 2019, p. 393-397Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The so-called Internet of Things is of increasing importance for facilitating productivity across industries, i.e., by connecting sensors with manufacturing lines and IT system landscapes with an increasing degree of autonomy. In this context, a common challenge is enabling reasonable trade-offs between structure and control on the one hand and flexibility and human-like intelligent behavior on the other hand. To address this challenge, we establish the need for and requirements of a hybrid IoT-/agent-based business process orchestration architecture that utilizes open standards. We propose a four-layered architecture, which integrates autonomous agents and business process orchestration for IoT/agents, and provide a running example for a supply chain management (purchasing) use case.

  • 3.
    Kampik, Timotheus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science. Signavio GmbH, Berlin, Germany.
    Najjar, Amro
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science. AI-Robolab/ICR, Computer Science and Communications, University of Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.
    Integrating Multi-agent Simulations into Enterprise Application Landscapes2019In: Highlights of Practical Applications of Survivable Agents and Multi-Agent Systems: The PAAMS Collection. PAAMS 2019 / [ed] De La Prieta F. et al., 2019, p. 100-111Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To cope with increasingly complex business, political, and economic environments, agent-based simulations (ABS) have been proposed for modeling complex systems such as human societies, transport systems, and markets. ABS enable experts to assess the influence of exogenous parameters (e.g., climate changes or stock market prices), as well as the impact of policies and their long-term consequences. Despite some successes, the use of ABS is hindered by a set of interrelated factors. First, ABS are mainly created and used by researchers and experts in academia and specialized consulting firms. Second, the results of ABS are typically not automatically integrated into the corresponding business process. Instead, the integration is undertaken by human users who are responsible for adjusting the implemented policy to take into account the results of the ABS. These limitations are exacerbated when the results of the ABS affect multi-party agreements (e.g., contracts) since this requires all involved actors to agree on the validity of the simulation, on how and when to take its results into account, and on how to split the losses/gains caused by these changes. To address these challenges, this paper explores the integration of ABS into enterprise application landscapes. In particular, we present an architecture that integrates ABS into cross-organizational enterprise resource planning (ERP) processes. As part of this, we propose a multi-agent systems simulator for the Hyperledger blockchain and describe an example supply chain management scenario type to illustrate the approach.

  • 4.
    Kampik, Timotheus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science. Signavio GmbH, Berlin.
    Najjar, Amro
    Simulating, Off-Chain and On-Chain: Agent-Based Simulations in Cross-Organizational Business Processes2020In: Information, E-ISSN 2078-2489, Vol. 11, no 1, article id 34Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Information systems execute increasingly complex business processes, often across organizations. Blockchain technology has emerged as a potential facilitator of (semi)-autonomous cross-organizational business process execution; in particular, so-called consortium blockchains can be considered as promising enablers in this context, as they do not require the use of cryptocurrency-based blockchain technology, as long as the trusted (authenticated) members of the network are willing to provide computing resources for consensus-finding. However, increased autonomy in the execution of business processes also requires the delegation of business decisions to machines. To support complex decision-making processes by assessing potential future outcomes, agent-based simulations can be considered a useful tool for the autonomous enterprise. In this paper, we explore the intersection of multi-agent simulations and consortium blockchain technology in the context of enterprise applications by devising architectures and technology stacks for both off-chain and on-chain agent-based simulation in the context of blockchain-based business process execution.

  • 5.
    Kampik, Timotheus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Najjar, Amro
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science. AI-Robolab/ICR Computer Science and Communications University of Luxembourg Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.
    Technology-facilitated Societal Consensus2019In: UMAP'19 Adjunct: Adjunct Publication of the 27th Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization, Larnaca, Cyprus: ACM Digital Library, 2019, p. 3-7Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The spread of radical opinions, facilitated by homophilic Internet communities (echo chambers), has become a threat to the stability of societies around the globe. The concept of choice architecture-the design of choice information for consumers with the goal of facilitating societally beneficial decisions-provides a promising (although not uncontroversial) general concept to address this problem. The choice architecture approach is reflected in recent proposals advocating for recommender systems that consider the societal impact of their recommendations and not only strive to optimize revenue streams. However, the precise nature of the goal state such systems should work towards remains an open question. In this paper, we suggest that this goal state can be defined by considering target opinion spread in a society on different topics of interest as a multivariate normal distribution; i.e., while there is a diversity of opinions, most people have similar opinions on most topics. We explain why this approach is promising, and list a set of cross-disciplinary research challenges that need to be solved to advance the idea.

  • 6.
    Kampik, Timotheus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Najjar, Amro
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Calvaresi, Davide
    University of Applied Science Western Switzerland.
    MAS-Aided Approval for Bypassing Decentralized Processes: an Architecture2018In: 2018 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence (WI), IEEE Computer Society, 2018, p. 713-718Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Executing business processes in a decentralized manner can improve inter-organizational efficacy. For example, blockchain-based process execution allows, at least conceptually, for cross-organizational compatibility, data integration, and integrity assurance without the need for a centralized trusted operator. However, most business processes run in agile and rapidly changing business environments. Updating a decentralized process requires continuous and extensive consensus-building efforts. Reflecting all organizations' business requirements is hardly practicable. Hence, in many real-life scenarios, to support cases with initially unforeseen properties, organizations can allow to bypass the decentralized process and fall-back to local variants. Yet, the decision to bypass or update a given process can have significant social implications since it may encourage a social dynamic that encourages collective avoidance of the decentralized process. This paper proposes a multi-agent simulation system to assess the social consequences of approving a bypass under given conditions. The proposed simulation is intended to inform the decision-maker (human or machine) on whether to allow to bypass a process or not. Moreover, we present an architecture for the integration of multi-agent simulation system, local process engine, and decentralized process execution environment, and describe a possible implementation with a particular tool chain.

  • 7.
    Kampik, Timotheus
    et al.
    Umeå University.
    Nieves, Juan Carlos
    Umeå University.
    JS-son - A Minimal JavaScript BDI Agent Library2019In: EMAS 2019: Accepted Papers, Centre for Autonomous systems technology, University of Liverpool , 2019Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a multitude of agent-oriented software engineering frame-works available, most of them produced by the academic multi-agent systemscommunity. However, these frameworks often impose programming paradigmson their users that are hard to learn for engineers who are used to modern high-level programming languages such as JavaScript and Python. To show how theadoption of agent-oriented programming by the software engineering mainstreamcan be facilitated, we provide an early, simplistic JavaScript library prototype forimplementing belief-desire-intention (BDI) agents. The library focuses on thecore BDI concepts and refrains from imposing further restrictions on the pro-gramming approach. To illustrate its usefulness, we demonstrate how the librarycan be used for multi-agent systems simulations on the web, as well as embeddedin Python-based data science tools.

  • 8.
    Kampik, Timotheus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Nieves, Juan Carlos
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Lindgren, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Coercion and deception in persuasive technologies2018In: Proceedings of the 20th International Trust Workshop / [ed] Robin Cohen, Murat Sensoy, Timothy J. Norman, CEUR-WS , 2018, p. 38-49Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Technologies that shape human behavior are of high societal relevance, both when considering their current impact and their future potential. In information systems research and in behavioral psychology, such technologies are typically referred to as persuasive technologies. Traditional definitions like the ones created by Fogg, and Harjumaa and Oinas-Kukkonen, respectively, limit the scope of persuasive technology to non-coercive, non-deceptive technologies that are explicitly designed for persuasion. In this paper we analyze existing technologies that blur the line between persuasion, deception,and coercion. Based on the insights of the analysis, we lay down an updated definition of persuasive technologies that includes coercive and deceptive forms of persuasion. Our definition also accounts for persuasive functionality that was not designed by the technology developers. We argue that this definition will help highlight ethical and societal challenges related to technologies that shape human behavior and encourage research that solves problems with technology-driven persuasion. Finally, we suggest multidisciplinary research that can help address the challenges our definition implies. The suggestions we provide range from empirical studies to multi-agent system theory.

  • 9.
    Kampik, Timotheus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Nieves, Juan Carlos
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Lindgren, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Empathic autonomous agents2019In: Engineering multi-agent systems: 6th international workshop, EMAS 2018, Stockholm, Sweden, July 14-15, 2018, revised selected papers / [ed] Danny Weyns, Viviana Mascardi and Alessandro Ricci, Cham: Springer, 2019, 6, p. 181-201Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Identifying and resolving conflicts of interests is a key challenge when designing autonomous agents. For example, such conflicts often occur when complex information systems interact persuasively with humans and are in the future likely to arise in non-human agent-to-agent interaction. We introduce a theoretical framework for an empathic autonomous agent that proactively identifies potential conflicts of interests in interactions with other agents (and humans) by considering their utility functions and comparing them with its own preferences using a system of shared values to find a solution all agents consider acceptable. To illustrate how empathic autonomous agents work, we provide running examples and a simple prototype implementation in a general-purpose programing language. To give a high-level overview of our work, we propose a reasoning-loop architecture for our empathic agent.

  • 10.
    Kampik, Timotheus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Nieves, Juan Carlos
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Lindgren, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Explaining Sympathetic Actions of Rational Agents2019In: Explainable, Transparent Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems: First International Workshop, EXTRAAMAS 2019, Montreal, QC, Canada, May 13–14, 2019, Revised Selected Papers / [ed] Calvaresi, Davide, Najjar, Amro, Schumacher, Michael och Främling, Kary, Cham: Springer, 2019, p. 59-76Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Typically, humans do not act purely rationally in the sense of classic economic theory. Different patterns of human actions have been identified that are not aligned with the traditional view of human actors as rational agents that act to maximize their own utility function. For instance, humans often act sympathetically -- i.e., they choose actions that serve others in disregard of their egoistic preferences. Even if there is no immediate benefit resulting from a sympathetic action, it can be beneficial for the executing individual in the long run. This paper builds upon the premise that it can be beneficial to design autonomous agents that employ sympathetic actions in a similar manner as humans do. We create a taxonomy of sympathetic actions, that reflects different goal types an agent can have to act sympathetically. To ensure that the sympathetic actions are recognized as such, we propose different explanation approaches autonomous agents may use. In this context, we focus on human-agent interaction scenarios. As a first step towards an empirical evaluation, we conduct a preliminary human-robot interaction study that investigates the effect of explanations of (somewhat) sympathetic robot actions on the human participants of human-robot ultimatum games. While the study does not provide statistically significant findings (but notable differences), it can inform future in-depth empirical evaluations.

  • 11.
    Kampik, Timotheus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Nieves, Juan Carlos
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Lindgren, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Implementing Argumentation-enabled Empathic Agents2018In: Multi-Agent Systems: 16th European Conference, EUMAS 2018, Bergen, Norway, December 6–7, 2018, Revised Selected Papers / [ed] Slavkovik, Marija, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2018, p. 140-155Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In a previous publication, we introduced the core concepts of empathic agents as agents that use a combination of utility-based and rule-based approaches to resolve conflicts when interacting with other agents in their environment. In this work, we implement proof-of-concept prototypes of empathic agents with the multi-agent systems development framework Jason and apply argumentation theory to extend the previously introduced concepts to account for inconsistencies between the beliefs of different agents. We then analyze the feasibility of different admissible set-based argumentation semantics to resolve these inconsistencies. As a result of the analysis we identify the maximal ideal extension as the most feasible argumentation semantics for the problem in focus.

  • 12.
    Kampik, Timotheus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Nieves, Juan Carlos
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Lindgren, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Towards empathic autonomous agents2018In: / [ed] Viviana Mascardi, Alessandro Ricci, Danny Weyns, 2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Identifying and resolving conflicts of interests is a key challenge when designing autonomous agents. For example, such conflicts often occur when complex information systems interact persuasively with humans and are in the future likely to arise in non-human agent-to-agent interaction. We work towards a theoretical framework for an empathic autonomous agent that proactively identifies potential conflicts of interests in interactions with other agents (and humans) byl earning their utility functions and comparing them with its own preferences using a system of shared values to find a solution all agents consider acceptable.To provide a high-level overview of our work, we propose a reasoning-loop architecture to address the problem in focus. To realize specific components of the architecture, we suggest applying existing concepts in argumentation and utility theory. Reinforcement learning methods can be used by the agent to learn from and interact with its environment.

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