A virtual organisation is one whose members are geographically apart (usually working via networked computer applications) while appearing to others to be a single, unified organisation with a real physical location.
According to Professor Michael Luck from the University’s School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), as the market for virtual organisations grows and an increasing number of companies are represented by computerised agents acting on their behalf, there is a greater need to ensure that these agents behave responsibly.
In a project which aims to monitor the performance of the members of a virtual organization in terms of their trustworthiness, quality of service and contract compliance, Professor Luck and his team at Southampton have worked with Cardiff University, the University of Aberdeen and British Telecom on CONOISE-G (Grid-enabled Constraint-Oriented Negotiation in an Open Information Services Environment).
‘Creating and then effectively managing a virtual organisation in a dynamic environment poses significant research challenges,’ commented Professor Luck. ‘We need to draw inspiration and examples from human societies and apply them to computerised societies. Selecting different suppliers on the basis of reputation, using information from others to decide who to trust, and discounting information from unreliable sources in making judgments are all actions that need to take place in the interactions of computerized societies as much as in our normal daily lives.’
In seeking to address some of these challenges, the researchers have developed a system for the dynamic formation and operation of virtual organizations, drawing on scenarios such as that of an individual visiting London for the 2012 Olympic Games who requires a PDA to access various multimedia services.
They are currently in the process of implementing a prototype system which looks at issues such as trust and reputation, standardising communication between agents, and policing within a virtual organization, so that the impact of behaviour such as non-delivery of services by an agent is minimised.
Professor Luck commented: ‘The trustworthiness and reputation of agents are significant issues, especially in the context of virtual organizations in which the agents must rely on each other to ensure coherent and effective behaviour.
‘Only limited work has been carried out in this area so far, with the majority of developers adopting the stance of complete trust. This, however, avoids the complex issues which are crucial for the reliability and dependability of these systems and which our research aims to address directly.’
CONOISE-G is due to be completed this month.
Helene Murphy | alfa
Information integration and artificial intelligence for better diagnosis and therapy decisions
24.05.2017 | Fraunhofer MEVIS - Institut für Bildgestützte Medizin
World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world
18.05.2017 | RMIT University
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy