My research is focussed on the design, specification, and development of (technology for) cognitive agents that are able to reason, autonomously make decisions, exhibit strategic behavior, and interact and coordinate their actions with other agents. Cognitive agents and approaches for coordinating agents have a range of applications, including a.o. robotics, serious games, negotiation and decision-making, multi-agent based modelling and simulation, and logistics and supply chain management.
Cognitive Agents and Multi-Agent/Robot Coordination
Cognitive agents are software agents that maintain a mental state consisting of knowledge, beliefs, and goals. Cognitive agents support autonomous and strategic decision making and derive their choice of action from their beliefs and goals. The design and development of cognitive control for robots requires the integration of many different techniques from AI in a single embedded system. As such, it is closely related to research on the integration of various abilities into software agents. Multi-agent coordination finds a very interesting application in the coordinating of the behavior of multiple robots that need to perform and solve a common task as a team.
Automated Negotiation and Decision Making
Automated agents that negotiate require sophisticated negotiation strategies, opponent modeling techniques (learning), techniques for modelling negotiation domains, and for various other aspects of decision making. Apart from using quantitative techniques I am also interested in using qualitative preferences for decision making. The work on the agent programming language GOAL (see also below) provides a rule-based language for creating agents that are able to make strategic decisions based on their beliefs and goals.
Other research topics I am interested in include a.o. learning techniques for cognitive agents, automated explanation of agent behaviour, socio-cognitive robotics, user modeling by means of cognitive agents, and logics for BDI-like agents for verification purposes (theorem-proving or model-checking).
I am involved in the following projects:
- The ITEA 2 "M2MGrids" Project Smart M2M Grids - Automated Dynamic M2M Power Systems (1 Post-doc, 3 years).
- The FP7 EU Project "TRADR" Long-Term Human-Robot Teaming for Robot-Assisted Disaster Response (2 PhDs, 1 4-year PostDoc).
- The Delft Robotics Project EVA. EVA is a new service robot for providing care.
- The Learning Cognitive Agents Project, integrating reinforcement learning into an agent programming language (1 1/2 year PostDoc).
- The NGI Project "Smart Roads", which uses agent-based modelling for studying behaviour of car drivers (1 Phd).
- The NGI Project "NEGOM", which develops models for multi-party negotiation (3 year PostDoc).
- The Socio-Cognitive Robotics Project (3 PhDs).
- The Pocket Negotiator project (2 PhDs).
Funding I helped acquire has come from NWO, Agentschap NL, and from the European FP7 Programme.
Programme Chair of the:
- 25th Benelux Conference on Artificial Intelligence (BNAIC 2013)
- 26th International Conference on Industrial, Engineering and Other Applications of Applied Intelligent Systems (IEA-AIE 2013)
Publicity Chair of the:
- 12th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS 2013)
Co-chair of the:
- 4th AAMAS Workshop on Autonomous Robots and Multirobot Systems (ARMS 2014)
- 2nd AAMAS Workshop on Cognitive Agents for Virtual Environments (CAVE 2013)
- 3rd AAMAS Workshop on Autonomous Robots and Multirobot Systems (ARMS 2013)
- 1st International Workshop on Cognitive Agents for Virtual Environments (CAVE 2012)
- 2nd International Workshop on Autonomous Robots and Multirobot Systems (ARMS 2012)
- 2010 Group Decision and Negotiation Conference (GDN 2010)
- 2nd International Working Conference on Human Factors and Computational Models in Negotiation (HuCom 2010)
- 6th International Workshop on Programming Multi-Agent Systems (ProMAS 2008)
- 1st International Working Conference on Human Factors and Computational Models in Negotiation (HuCom 2008)
- 11th International Workshop on Cooperative Information Agents (CIA 2007)
I have also co-organised the Dagstuhl Seminar on Engineering Multi-Agent Systems (2012) and the Automated Negotiating Agents Competition (ANAC) in 2010, ,2011, 2012, and 2013.