Search
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Filter by content type
Users
Attachments

Interaction- and Communication-based Systems


Prof. Dr. Simon Mayer

In our research group, we explore interactions among devices and people in ubiquitous computing environments. Our focus is on the integration of physical things into the Web, on increasing the autonomy of Web-enabled devices and on making interactions of connected devices intelligible for people.

News

IntellIoT

Together with twelve partners from across Europe, our research group is engaged in the H2020-ICT-56 Next-Generation Internet of Things Project “IntellIoT – Intelligent, Distributed, Human-centred & Trustworthy IoT Environments” (link to project). Our group’s research in this context will primarily focus on novel concepts to enable end-user programming for Hypermedia Multi-agent Systems as well as further conceptual designs and software components that enable the usage of hypermedia as a general mechanism for uniform interaction among people and autonomous software agents. We will furthermore contribute to the hypermedia-based integration of machine learning in this context, and support the project’s target use case of human-machine collaboration in manufacturing, alongside use cases in agriculture and healthcare.

Author: Simon Mayer

Date: 9. September 2020

Autonomous Search in a Social and Ubiquitous Web

A new paper from our group was published in the Personal and Ubiquitous Computing journal: Autonomous Search in a Social and Ubiquitous Web.

Abstract: Recent W3C recommendations for the Web of Things (WoT) and the Social Web are turning hypermedia into a homogeneous information fabric that interconnects heterogeneous resources: devices, people, information resources, abstract concepts, etc. The integration of multi-agent systems with such hypermedia environments now provides a means to distribute autonomous behavior in worldwide pervasive systems. A central problem then is to enable autonomous agents to discover heterogeneous resources in worldwide and dynamic hypermedia environments. This is a problem in particular in WoT environments that rely on open standards and evolve rapidly—thus requiring agents to adapt their behavior at run time in pursuit of their design objectives. To this end, we developed a hypermedia search engine for the WoT that allows autonomous agents to perform approximate search queries in order to retrieve relevant resources in their environment in (weak) real time. The search engine crawls dynamic WoT environments to discover and index device metadata described with the W3C WoT Thing Description, and exposes a SPARQL endpoint that agents can use for approximate search. To demonstrate the feasibility of our approach, we implemented a prototype application for the maintenance of industrial robots in worldwide manufacturing systems. The prototype demonstrates that our semantic hypermedia search engine enhances the flexibility and agility of autonomous agents in a social and ubiquitous Web.

Link to the full paper

Author: Simon Mayer

Date: 10. June 2020

Designing Social Machines for Tackling Online Disinformation

We presented a new paper, Designing Social Machines for Tackling Online Disinformation, at the 2020 World Wide Web Conference (aDecentWeb Workshop).

Abstract: Traditional news outlets as carriers and distributors of information have been challenged by online social networks with regards to their gate-keeping function. Users are now left with the difficult task of assessing the credibility of information provided to them, which facilitates the spread of disinformation. At the same time, current human- and machine-based approaches to tackle disinformation are operating in isolation from one another, each with its respective weaknesses. We believe that only a combined effort of people and machines will be able to curb so-called “fake news” at scale in a decentralized Web. In this paper, we propose an approach to design social machines that coordinate human- and machinedriven credibility assessment of information on a decentralized Web. To this end, we defined a fact-checking process that draws upon ongoing efforts for tackling disinformation on the Web, and we formalized this process as a multi-agent organisation for curating W3C Web Annotations. We present the current state of our prototypical implementation in the form of a browser plugin that builds on the Hypothesis annotation platform and the JaCaMo multiagent platform. Our social machines can span across the Web to enable collaboration in form of public discourse, thereby increasing the transparency and accountability of information on the Web.

Link to the full paper

Author: Simon Mayer

Date: 7. May 2020

Go Privacy Go

We presented a new paper, Go Privacy Go: Lessons Learned for Data Protection by Design and Default from Designing a Privacy-Friendly GoPiGo Toy Robot, at the BILETA 2020 Conference on Regulating Transitions in Technology and Law.

Abstract: In our article we investigate how the legal environment of a smart product interacts with the programming of that product. Specifically, we are interested in how the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) principles can be mapped to legally relevant aspects of toy robots. These are of particular interest as they contain different kinds of privacy-sensitive sensors such as microphones and cameras, are continuously processing (personal) data, can easily be moved from one jurisdiction to another, and affect individuals, including vulnerable ones such as children, in their homes.

Author: Simon Mayer

Date: 7. May 2020

Long-Lived Agents on the Web

We presented a new paper, Long-Lived Agents on the Web: Continuous Acquisition of Behaviors in Hypermedia Environments, at the 2020 World Wide Web Conference (TheWebConf Demonstrations Track).

Abstract: We demonstrate how autonomous goal-directed agents can exploit hypermedia to acquire and execute new behaviors at run time. In addition to behaviors programmed into the agents, in our system agents can discover and reuse behaviors extracted from machine-readable resource manuals. Such manuals can be published by developers, synthesized by agents through automated planning, or even specified by human users at run time. Agents can then discover and use physical and virtual resources in flexible ways, which allows them to better cope with the rapid evolution of open and dynamic Web environments.

Link to the full paper

Author: Simon Mayer

Date: 7. May 2020

Academic GIFt: HyperAgents

Together with Zense and the University of St.Gallen’s Communications Team, we created and published an Academic GIFt about HyperAgents. The purpose of this short clip is to inform a broader, non-academic audience about our ongoing research.

Author: Simon Mayer

Date: 2. March 2020

Dagstuhl Seminar on Autonomous Agents on the Web

This Dagstuhl Seminar, which was proposed by Dr. Andrei Ciortea together with a team of international researchers, was recently accepted and scheduled for February 15 – February 19, 2021. The primary objective of the seminar is to support the transfer of knowledge and results across the research communities in Web Architecture and Web of Things, Semantic Web and Linked Data, and Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems in order to pave the way for a new generation of autonomous systems on the Web. We believe this seminar can break new ground in all three areas of research – and that it could unlock applications that would cut across society and could revolutionize domains from manufacturing to healthcare and government.

Author: Simon Mayer

Date: 2. March 2020

Tailored Controls

We presented a new paper, Tailored Controls: Creating Personalized Tangible User Interfaces from Paper, at the 2019 ACM International Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces.

Abstract: User interfaces rarely adapt to the specific user preferences or the task at hand. We present a method that allows to quickly and inexpensively create personalized interfaces from plain paper. Users can cut out shapes and assign control functions to these paper snippets via a simple configuration interface. After configuration, control takes place entirely through the manipulation of the paper shapes, providing the experience of a tailored tangible user interface. The shapes and assignments can be dynamically changed during use. Our system is based on markerless tracking of the user’s fingers and the paper shapes on a surface using an RGBD camera mounted above the interaction space, which is the only hardware sensor required. Our approach and system are backed up by two studies where we determined what shapes and interaction abstractions users prefer, and verified that users can indeed employ our system to build real applications with paper snippet interfaces.

Link to the full paper

Author: Simon Mayer

Date: 7. December 2019

Team