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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C548051/1
Title: Decentralised Data and Information Systems
Principal Investigator: Jennings, Professor NR
Other Investigators:
Leslie, Professor D Roberts, Professor S Hand, Professor D
Gelenbe, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
AMS
Department: Electronics and Computer Science
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 October 2005 Ends: 31 March 2011 Value (£): 5,448,122
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Artificial Intelligence Information & Knowledge Mgmt
Robotics & Autonomy
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project aims to develop techniques, methods and architectures for modelling, designing and building decentralised systems that can bring together information from a variety of heterogeneous sources in order to take informed actions. To do this, the project needs to take a total systems view on information and knowledge fusion and to consider the feedback that exists between sensing, decision making and acting in such systems. Moreover, it must be able to achieve these objectives in environments in which: control is distributed; uncertainty, ambiguity, imprecision and bias are endemic; multiple stakeholders with different aims and objectives are present; and resources are limited and continually vary during the system's operation.To achieve these ambitious aims, we view the system as being composed of autonomous, reactive and proactive components (actors) that can sense, act and interact in order to achieve individual and collective aims. To be effective in such challenging environments, the actors need to be able to make the best use of what information is available, be flexible and agile in their decision making, cognizant of the fact that there are other actors, and adaptive to their changing environment. Thus we need to bring together work in a number of traditionally distinct fields such as information fusion, inference, decision making and machine learning. Moreover, such actors will invariably need to interact to manage their interdependencies. Such interactions will also need to be highly flexible because of the many environmental uncertainties and changes. Again this requires the synergistic combination of distinct fields including multi-agent systems, game theory, mechanism design and mathematical modelling of collective behaviour.The intellectual challenges of bringing together these hitherto largely independent research themes (at both the individual and the multiple actor level) are significant. Traditionally, each of these themes has dealt with some particular aspect related to how a system (involving many actors) may learn and reason about its environment allowing it to sense, plan and act in pursuit of the goals and objectives it has been given. However, in this project we seek to bring these components together to produce a coherent whole. Moreover, we seek to do so in a principled manner so that we have the best possible idea of how the overall system will behave (when designing it) and maximum confidence that it will achieve its objectives (when it is operational). In undertaking this foundational research, we need to be mindful of the total systems view so that the related components can be combined into a resulting system that is robust, flexible and scalable. This concern means that we will also undertake research into architectures for decentralised data and information systems that exhibit these properties. Finally, to provide a focus for this integrated view, the ideas and technologies developed within the research programme will be exercised in the domain of disaster recovery.
Key Findings
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Project URL: http://www.aladdinproject.org/
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk