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Coordination models


20-21 Novembre 2014 @ 9h00-17h15 + Associated Conference Wednesday Nov 19, 17:15 - 19:00 (all interested people are also welcome)

Responsable de l'activité

Beat Hirsbrunner


Béat Hirsbrunner, Prof, professeur, Fac des sciences, Uni Fribourg

Michèle Courant, Dr, MER, Fac. des sciences, Uni Fribourg


Andrea Omicini, University of Bologna (It)

Paul Pangaro, Ph.D., New York

Giuseppe Longo, IEA de Nantes 

Prof. René Schumann, HES-So, Valais 

Dr Visara Urovi, HES-So, Valais 

Benjamin Hadorn, Pervasive Artificial Intelligence Group, University of Fribourg


As the act of working together harmoniously, coordination is a concept that has been applied in many domains of computer science and management of interaction between humans and artefacts for oyer 20 years. In Computer Science, coordination theory, which was initially set up by T. Malone, has been an essential basis for conceptualizing distributed systems. With the development of methodologies like pervasive computing or CSCW which push the diversification of devices and situations where humans and machines may interact, this theory still appears as an interesting effort for understanding interaction and federating design methods in computer science. The goal of the seminar is to make a state-of-the-art of coordination models in the perspective of designing digital technology for the future.

Thursday 20 November

Room E130

 9:00 - 10:30: Andrea Omicini I : Coordination 

10:30 to 11:00: Break

11:00 - 12:30 : Andrea Omicini II : Coordination

12:30 - 14:00: lunch break

Auditorium C140 

14:00 - 15:30: Paul Pangaro I : Introduction to Cybernetics - 1st and 2nd order

15:30 - 15:45 : Coffee break

15:45 - 17:15 : Workshop Session 


B. Hadorn : Human-Centered Cyber Physical Systems
G. Longo : Laws and Models in Physics vs Biology and the Continuum vs Discrete Interplay


Friday 21 November

Room C130 

9::00 - 10:30: Andrea Omicini III: Coordination

10:30 to 11:00: Break

11:00 - 12:30 : Wokshop Session


René Schumann : Coordination: The what, the when and the how
Visara Urovi : Coordination Games in Multi-Agent Environments


12:30 - 14:00: lunch break

14:00 - 15:30: Paul Pangaro II: Conversation

15:30 - 15:45 : Coffee break

15:45 - 17:15 : Paul Pangaro III : Design


SPEAKERS with bios and abstracts 

Andrea Omicini, University of Bologna (It)
Tutorial : Nature-inspired Coordination Models for Complex Distributed Systems 
Originating from closed parallel systems, coordination models and technologies gained in expressive power so to deal with complex distributed systems. In particular, nature-inspired models of coordination emerged in the last decade as the most effective approaches to tackle the complexity of pervasive, intelligent, and self-* systems. In this lecture we first introduce the basic notions of coordination and coordination model, survey the most relevant nature-inspired coordination models, discuss the main open issues, and explore the trends for their future development.

Andrea Omicini holds a PhD in Computer & Electronic Engineering from the Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna, Italy, and is currently a Full Professor at DISI, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of the University of Bologna. 
He published over 250 articles on coordination, multi-agent systems, intelligent systems, programming languages, Internet technologies, middleware, simulation, software engineering, pervasive systems, self-organisation; on the same subjects, he edited 13 international books, and guest-edited 15 international journal special issues.
He held several talks and tutorials at international conferences and schools; supervised or evaluated several PhD theses, both national and international; organised and chaired several international conferences and workshops.
Currently, he is Member of the Editorial Board of: ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems (TAAS); ACM Applied Computing Review; Intelligenza Artificiale; BioData Mining.
He was the Chair of the SIG on Agents and Multi-Agent Systems of the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence (AI*IA), and the ACM Representative in the IFIP Technical Committee 12 "Artificial Intelligence". Currently, he is Member of the Board of Director of the European Association for Multi-Agent Systems (EURAMAS).

Paul Pangaro, Ph.D., New York
Tutorial : Cybernetics, Conversation and Design as Modeling, Collaborating and Acting 
On its mid-20th century emergence, cybernetics dominated the science zeitgeist but then waned. Resurgent in today’s times, cybernetics and other systemic disciplines are proffered as possible response to social and environmental complexities, which are not yielding to 20th-century practices. From its inception cybernetics has been a discipline for modeling systems in terms of purpose, feedback and information. Most recently it has proven effective for designing systems of interaction (software), designing systems for collaboration (teams, organizations) and designing the practice of design itself (design curricula).

Using examples from his client projects, software and teaching, Paul Pangaro will discuss cybernetics, conversation, design and their synergistic roles. The core models of cybernetics—feedback systems, requisite variety, conversation, and bio-cost—create a foundational, shared and explanatory language across disciplines and domains of applications. Conversation theory, developed from cybernetic observations of human interaction, creates a single framework for encompassing deterministic relationships with systems of objects, as well as those of subjectivity, values, re-framing, and argumentation, in systems of participants. As such, conversation can be applied to the processes of design, comprising as they do all these aspects, even as they start from basic feedback models of goal-directed systems. Therefore, cybernetics, encompassing conversation, proffers a model for design as a pragmatic language for understanding, augmenting and co-evolving our collaborations as actors in a world for which we hope for better outcomes.


Paul Pangaro holds a BS in Humanities/Computer Science from MIT and a PhD in Cybernetics from Brunel University (UK) under Gordon Pask, creator of conversation theory, a cybernetic discipline of interaction, understanding and collaboration. Pangaro has applied conversation theory to software, organizations, and design practice. He taught cybernetics and design in the Human-Computer Interaction program at Stanford University for 7 years, and since 2010 at the School of Visual Arts Interaction Design MFA program in New York City. He has published on these topics in Interactions Magazine (ACM), International Journal of General Systems, Journal Kybernetes, Cybernetics and Human Knowing, edition echoraum (Vienna), and Systems Research Journal. He has lectured in São Paulo, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Toronto, and in cities in the US. His clients include Nokia, Samsung, Citigroup, Intellectual Ventures, Poetry Foundation, Ogilvy & Mather, Instituto Itaú Cultural (São Paulo) and Alcatel-Lucent (Paris). His current startup is General Cybernetics, Inc., in New York City.

Giuseppe Longo, IEA de Nantes
Laws and Models in Physics vs in Biology and the continuum vs discrete interplay
La notion de loi physique, qui a dominé toutes les références aux “lois de la nature” depuis au moins quatre siècles, est profondément immiscée d’une métaphysique religieuse et de références juridiques qui ont contribué à la façonner, voire à lui donner sa légitimit��. Tout en anticipant un objectif qui pourra être falsifié, nous pensons alors que le biais historique et métaphysique, normalement implicite, qui pèse sur la notion de loi de la nature et qui passe principalement, sinon exclusivement, par l’hégémonie (“bien méritée”) de la théorisation physico-mathématique, soit aujourd’hui un obstacle à une réflexion originale sur les dynamiques du vivant. On essayera alors de poser la question de l’intelligibilité et de la normativité dans le cadre des sciences de la vie, au delà des a priori métaphysiques qui gouverne l’intelligibilité physico-mathématique. Par ce biais, on espère aussi contribuer au débat à l’intérieur des sciences humaines, en particulier dans leur rapport aux “lois” telles que proposées par les sciences de la nature. Si le temps le permets, on essayera d'expliciter le rôle du jeu continu vs. discret dans l'implantation mathématique de la ''loi'' comme outil d'intelligibilité. L'analyse se basera sur le différent rôle des symétries et de leurs brisures, voire de l'aléatoire, dans la modélisation mathématique vs. informatique.

Giuseppe Longo is Directeur de Recherche (DRE) CNRS at Centre Interdisciplinaire Cavaillès, (République des Savoirs, Collège de France et l’Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris) and Adjunct ProfessorDepartment of Integrative Physiology and Pathobiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston Tufts University, Boston. He is a former Professor of Mathematical Logic and, later, of Computer Science at the University of Pisa. He spent 3 years in the USA (Berkeley, M.I.T., Carnegie Mellon) as researcher and Visiting Professor, in addition to several months visits in Oxford and Utrecht. He is a member of the Academia Europea since 1992. GL worked in Mathematical Logic and at various applications of Mathematical Logic to Computer Science. Since 1991, Longo is editor-in-chief of Mathematical Structures in Computer Science, a leading scientific journal of the Cambridge U.P. and (co-)authored more than 100 papers and a book, with A. Asperti, on Categories, Types and Structures (M.I.T. Press, 1991). He recently extended his research interests and work to the Epistemology of Mathematics and Theoretical Biology. Bailly and Longo’s book, Mathematics and the natural sciences: The Physical Singularity of Life (Imperial College Press, London, 2011) proposes a novel approach to cross-foundational analyses in Mathematics, Physics and Biology. Its consequences for more specific theoretizing in Biology are in joint book with Maël Montévil, Perspectives on Organisms: Biological Time, Symmetries and Singularities (Springer, Berlin, 2014). He currently directs a research project at IEA-Nantes on the concept of law, in human and natural sciences.

Prof. René Schumann, HES-So, Valais
Coordination: The what, the when and the how  
One of the most widely used definitions of the term of „coordination“ states that coordination is „managing dependencies“.  In the talk dependencies between activities/actions executed by different actors/systems, with potentially different intentions are addressed. Dependencies between these activities exist because these activities change a shared environment, or parts of it. Coordination scenarios of this type have been investigated in a number of different disciplines with slightly varying notions. In the talk we want to highlight the large variety of existing coordination methods, and the different points in time when coordination can be done. So, before we set a coordination scheme in place for a given problem, we have to decide when to coordinate, and which coordination methodology we want to use out of the existing pool, or if it is necessary to design a new coordination methodology.

Dr Visara Urovi, , HES-So, Valais
Coordination Games in Multi-Agent Environments  
Self-interest is one of the key characteristics of an agent based system. When multiple software agents with their individual objectives are deployed in a multi-agent platform, their possibly conflicting objectives may disrupt the overall cooperation requirements of a shared environment. As a consequence, interactions of individual agents should be coordinated by the shared environment so that the agents' objectives and the global system specifications are sattisfied. In this talk we will view agents interactions as a rule governed activity which is modeled as a game. Games consist of a set of moves, their effects and the initial and the final state of a game. We will show how a games metaphor provides an intuitive model for representing agent interactions in distributed platforms. On one hand, the cooperations in the agent environment result from applying set of coordination games. On the other hand, given the specification of a game, agents are enabled to reason about the rules and build strategies to bring about success in their individual goals. We will show how we applied the coordination games techniques to different large-scale problems and discuss open issues and future developments.

Benjamin Hadorn, Pervasive Artificial Intelligence Group, University of Fribourg
Human centred Cyber Physical Systems
The talk will focus on cyber physical systems (CPS), especially smart factories addressed by industry 4.0]. A CPS is built of physical components which are integrated into the cyber (virtual) world of computing. Such systems offer many open questions and challenges, such as time modelling, big data mining, system awareness, coordinating activities and managing collaboration within and with external systems. Many of the published work focusses on the way virtual and physical systems can be designed, coordinated and managed. We argue that drawing a border line between virtual and physical is misleading the design of CPS. Rather we propose to use a holistic model and illustrate it on the concrete example of a smart factory.
We intent to show how a CPS model can be improved by the holistic approach of a generic coordination model we have previously proposed and the integration of enactive entities, like humans or other bio-systems. This integration could enable the system to become a smart partner for daily human activities. Our goal is not to create human-like systems, but rather a holistic integration of enactive entities into CPS. Closely connected to this integration is also the understanding and modelling of cognitive coordination. Our vision is to go one step beyond smart factories to "cognitive manufacturing”.


University of Fribourg, boulevard de Pérolles 90



Deadline for registration 16.11.2014
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