Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Paper: Virtual worlds as a model-view approach to the communication of business processes models

A paper by my PhD student Hanwen Guo has just been accepted for the CAiSE 2012 Forum (old ERA A). The paper can be found here.

Well done Hanwen!

Title: Virtual worlds as a model-view approach to the communication of business processes models.

Abstract: The improvement and optimization of business processes is one of the top priorities in an organization. Although process analysis methods are mature today, business analysts and stakeholders are still hampered by communication issues. That is, analysts cannot effectively obtain accurate business requirements from stakeholders, and stakeholders are often confused about analytic results offered by analysts. We argue that using a virtual world to model a business process can benefit communication activities. We believe that virtual worlds can be used as an efficient model-view approach, increasing the cognition of business requirements and analytic results, as well as the possibility of business plan validation. A healthcare case study is provided as an approach instance, illustrating how intuitive such an approach can be. As an exploration paper, we believe that this promising research can encourage people to investigate more research topics in the interdisciplinary area of information system, visualization and multi-user virtual worlds.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Paper: Design and implementation of a virtual world training simulation of ICU first hour handover processes

Just had a journal paper accepted with the Australian Critical Care Journal. This is part of our collaboration with Professor Ian Baldwin at Austin Health in Melbourne, Australia, and the Smart Services CRC. This system simulates nurse to nurse ICU shift handover processes, and is being used at Austin Health as a teaching tool for postgraduate nurses. Eprint of journal paper is here.

Nursing training for an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is a resource intensive process. High demands are made on staff, students and physical resources. Interactive, 3D computer simulations, known as virtual worlds, are increasingly being used to supplement training regimes in the health sciences; especially in areas such as complex hospital ward processes. Such worlds have been found to be very useful in maximising the utilisation of training resources. Our aim is to design and develop a novel virtual world application for teaching and training Intensive Care nurses in the approach and method for shift handover, to provide an independent, but rigorous approach to teaching these important skills. In this paper we present a virtual world simulator for students to practice key steps in handing over the 24/7 care requirements of intensive care patients during the commencing first hour of a shift. We describe the modelling process to provide a convincing interactive simulation of the handover steps involved. The virtual world provides a practice tool for students to test their analytical skills with scenarios previously provided by simple physical simulations, and live on the job training. Additional educational benefits include facilitation of remote learning, high flexibility in study hours and the automatic recording of a reviewable log from the session. To the best of our knowledge, we believe this is a novel and original application of virtual worlds to an ICU handover process. The major outcome of the work was a virtual world environment for training nurses in the shift handover process, designed and developed for use by postgraduate nurses in training.


Friday, February 3, 2012

CFP: PRIMA 2012 Call for Papers


PRIMA 2012

The 15th International Conference on Principles and Practice of Multi-Agent Systems
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
September 3-7, 2012

Co-located with PRICAI 2012, DC 2012 and PKAW 2012

Important Dates

Workshop proposals
December 15, 2011
Papers/Tutorial proposals
March 30, 2012

Author notification
May 28, 2012
Camera-ready papers
June 15, 2012

Workshops and Tutorials
September 3-4, 2012
September 5-7, 2012

Agent computing is an exciting, transformational approach to developing computer systems that can rapidly and reliably solve real-world problems that usually demand human knowledge and expertise. The value, power and flexibility of agent and multi-agent systems has been demonstrated in application areas such as logistics, manufacturing, simulation, robotics, decision support, entertainment, and especially in online market environments. As one of the largest and fastest growing research fields of Computer Science, agent research today includes a wealth of topics. The PRIMA 2012 Program Committee invites submissions of original, unpublished, theoretical and applied work on any such topic, and encourages reports on the development of prototype and deployed agent systems, and of experiments that demonstrate novel agent system capabilities.

Submission. PRIMA 2012 proceedings will be published by Springer as a volume in the LNAI series and proceedings will be available at the conference. Submitted papers should be 12–15 pages in Springer LNCS format and must be in a form suitable for "double-blind" review. Each submission will be subject to peer review in two rounds coordinated by an international Senior Program Committee, and authors will be able to provide a short "rebuttal" of the reviews before final decisions are made. A broad range of agent topics are of interest, but all papers should clearly identify how their scientific or technical contributions advance the state-of-the-art of agent computing practice or have a strong potential to do so Submitted papers should not be under review or submitted for publication elsewhere during the review period.

Springer LNCS Author Instructions:


General Chairs
Sandip Sen (University of Tulsa, USA)
Toshiharu Suguwara (Waseda University, Japan)
Local Arrangements Chairs
Dickson Lukose (MIMOS Berhad, Malaysia)
Cheah Wai Shiang (Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia)

Sponsorship Chairs
Longbing Cao (University of Technology, Sydney, Australia)
Matthias Klusch (DFKI Saarbruecken, Germany)
Sarvapali Ramchurn (University of Southampton, UK)
Jie Zhang (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

Tutorial Chair
Edith Elkind (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

Workshop Chairs
Sherief Abdallah (British University in Dubai, UAE and
University of Edinburgh, UK)
Hiromitsu Hattori (Kyoto University, Japan)

Program Chairs
Iyad Rahwan (Masdar Institute, UAE and MIT, USA)
Wayne Wobcke (University of New South Wales, Australia)
Senior Program Commitee
Stephen Cranefield (University of Otago, New Zealand)
Frank Dignum (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)
Guido Governatori (NICTA, Australia)
Katsutoshi Hirayama (Kobe University, Japan)
Kate Larson (University of Waterloo, Canada)
Rey-Long Liu (Tzu Chi University, Taiwan)
Alessio Lomuscio (Imperial College London, UK)
Andrea Omicini (University of Bologna, Italy)
Jeremy Pitt (Imperial College London, UK)
David Pynadath (University of Southern California, USA)
Alex Rogers (University of Southampton, UK)
Paolo Torroni (University of Bologna, Italy)

Publicity Chairs
Jacob Crandall (Masdar Institute, UAE and MIT, USA)
Koen Hindriks (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)


Foundations of Agents and Multi-Agent Systems
Logics of Agency
Logics of Multi-Agent Systems
Normative Systems
Computational Game Theory
Uncertainty in Agent Systems
Agent and Multi-Agent Learning
Agent and Multi-Agent System Architectures
Agent Programming Languages and Platforms
Multi-Agent System Languages and Platforms
BDI Architectures and Extensions
Normative Multi-Agent Systems

Agent-Oriented Software Engineering
AOSE Methodologies
Tools for Agent and Multi-Agent System Development
Formal Specification and Verification
Deployed System Case Studies

Agent-Based Modelling and Simulation
Simulation Languages and Platforms
Artificial Societies
Virtual Environments
Workflow Simulation
Emergent Behaviour
Modelling System Dynamics
Application Case Studies

Agent Communication Languages and Protocols
Distributed Problem Solving
Teamwork Models
Coalition Formation
Argumentation, Negotiation, Bargaining
Auctions and Mechanism Design
Trust and Reputation
Computational Voting Theory

Hybrid Technologies
Agents in Planning
Agent-Based Scheduling
Agent-Based Optimization
Distributed Constraint Satisfaction
Agents and Data Mining
Semantic Web Agents
Agents and Grid Computing
Agents and Service Oriented Computing
Agents and Pervasive Computing
Robotics and Multi-Robot Systems
Application Domains
Emergency/Disaster Management
Energy/Utility Management
Sustainability/Resource Management
Smart Cities

Adaptive Personal Assistants
Embodied Conversational Agents
Virtual Characters
Multi-Modal User Interfaces
Autonomous Systems
Mobile Agents
Human-Robot Interaction
Social Recommender Systems