LIACC Strategic Project (FCT funded for 2011-2013)

  • This strategic Project aimed at helping on supporting LIACC Research Unit for 2011-2012. The project was then extended to 2013.
LIACC, Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science at the U. of Porto, exists since 1988 and includes 20 PhDs plus about 20 other members belonging to two research groups (Computer Science-CS, and Distributed Artificial Intelligence & Robotics-DAI&R) mainly residing in the Faculty of Sciences (FCUP) and the Faculty of Engineering (FEUP). Although none of the researchers holding a PhD is doing research in full-time, since they are also heavily involved in lecturing (8 to 12 hours/week), our commitment to research is unquestionable.
DAI&R, mainly located at the FEUP, directs its R&D efforts both towards software models and prototype implementations as
relevant proof of concepts. CS, FCUP group, is devoted, though not exclusively, to more theoretical research.

DAIAS (former DAI&R) Group:

    Main Research Topics

  • Agreement Technologies
    • Negotiation and task allocation have been in the multi-agent systems realm since its inception as a research field. More recently, social aspects of agenthood have received increasing attention, namely developing on the fields of normative and trust systems. Taking a broad perspective, an agreement can in this context be a solution obtained using a distributed cooperative problem solving approach. Therefore, a wide range of problems can be tackled. Research in this issue efforts on three main agreement technology concepts, namely negotiation, normative environments and computational trust.
    • Previous work in this issue was related to the Electronic Institution concept, namely in agent-based B2B operations, that included the study and development of an Electronic Institution for safe and trustable agent-based business operations. Research was done in the development of appropriate models for B2B Negotiation and Monitoring processes as well as to provide platforms, tools and frameworks enabling Agents’ interoperability in the context of Virtual Enterprises Life Cycle.
  • Agents’ Adaptation, Learning and Emotions
    • Agents’ intelligent processes mostly rely on learning capabilities and sophisticated architectures. Through this research line we aim at studying both agent and multi-agent learning on one hand, and emotion-like features driven architectures, on the other hand.
  • Information Extraction and Intelligent Text Mining
    • LIACC research on Text Mining is done in close collaboration with UP-SAPO Labs.

      Since 2008, several topics have been pursued and include, among others:

      Knowledge Extraction from Text

      Opinion polarity mining

      Information visualization

      Music recommendation

      Social networks analysis

    • These topics, always mainly tuned for the Portuguese language, are addressed through methods that explore text data repositories like electronic news, blogs, music and tweets.

    • “Time Machine” (“A Máquina do Tempo”) is a product in progress that results from the combined outcomes of several previous projects like Verbatim, Verbetes and "O Mundo Visto Daqui". A brief explanation on this line of research can be seen here.

    • "Connecting Dots between the News"(Report in Portuguese). This work aims at defining and evaluating different techniques to automatically build temporal news sequences. The approach proposed is composed by three steps: (i) near duplicate documents detention; (ii) keywords extraction; (iii) news sequences creation. This approach is based on: Natural Language Processing, Information Extraction, Name Entity Recognition and supervised learning algorithms. The proposed methodology got a precision of 93.1% for news chains sequences creation.

  • Multi-agent Systems applications
    • Moreover we also aim at applying agent and multi-agent architectures, negotiation protocols and learning algorithms to specific application domains.
  • Multi-Agent teams’ Coordination and Simulation (now under the new LIACC group HMIC) Coordinating teams of autonomous (or semi-autonomous) agents that perform in rich, dynamic, both cooperative and adversarial environments is a major aim of this work line. For this objective, we are exploring several research directions that can be seen as complementary: new coordination protocols; methodologies for analyzing team behavior; implementation of agent-based common framework suitable for controlling teams of cooperative robots for robosoccer; design of realistic multi-agent simulators (Coastal Ecosystems Simulator); generalizating these methods to other domains.

    Research Projects

  • ABSES: Agent Based Simulation of Ecological Systems (FCT/POSC/EIA/57671/2004)
  • ACORD Adaptative Coordination of Robotic Teams (FCT/PTDC/EIA/70695/2006)
  • Control Strategies: Control Strategies Characterization for Heterogeneous Multi-Agent Systems (4.1.3/CAPES/GRICES)
  • Electronic Institution: Trust-aware Automatic E-Contract Negotiation in Agent-based Adaptive Normative Environments (PTDC/EIA-EIA/104420/2008)
  • FCP RESCUE: Coordination of Heterogeneous Teams in Search and Rescue Scenarios (FCT/POSC/EIA/63240/2004)
  • MASDIMA: Multi-Agent System for Disruption Management

    Former Research