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
Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions
21.10.2016 | Stanford University
New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality
19.10.2016 | University of Waterloo
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences