Professor Liz Sonenberg
Department of Computing and Information Systems
The University of Melbourne
Note: news about the University can be found at http://newsroom.melbourne.edu/; stories of broad interest from the university sector can be found at
- Local day/time:
- My current research and supervision activities are outlined below. For general enquiries re IT programs, including graduate study, see the Melbourne School of Information www.msi.unimelb.edu.au For specific inquiries re PhD study under my supervision, contact me directly.
- I also have the part-time role of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Collaboration and Infrastructure) in Melbourne Research - with oversight of University policy regarding shared research infrastructure and for ensuring the effective establishment of a portfolio of interdisciplinary research institutes. University-wide activities I take an active interest in, include:
- Melbourne Research +61 3 9035 8619
- Department of Computing and Information Systems + 61 3 8344 1513
- Email: l.sonenberg "at" unimelb "dot" edu "dot" au
- Physical Location
Maps of the Parkville campus of the University of Melbourne are here and a Google Maps link is here
- My PVC (Research Collaboration) office is room 5.08, at 161 Barry Street - the Alan Gilbert Building (Building 104) - take the lift to Level 5 and head to the East end of the floor
- My Department of Computing and Information Systems office is room 9.25, Building 168
- take the lift to Level 9 and head to the far end of the building.
- There are regular trams to the University from the city along Swanston Street (any north-bound tram) and Elizabeth St (all trams except for 57). Parking may be available in the surrounding streets or in the nearbyUniversity car park (enter via Bouverie or Berkeley Streets) for a fee.
My research interests include the design of reasoning machinery
for systems that exhibit complex
collaborative behaviours. For some years my major research efforts
have been in the foundations and applications of systems
within the BDI (Belief, Desire, Intention) agent paradigm,
with a particular focus on teamwork, but I have also studied
various elements of non-monotonic reasoning.
I have also explored opportunities for
the use of agent technologies to meet the challenges faced
by designers and developers of mobile, context aware applications. Industry collaborations have included the Australian
Artificial Intelligence Institute, Agent Oriented Software P/L,
Clarinox P/L, the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO),
and Neuragenix P/L. I have also been involved with projects receiving support from
Hewlett Packard and Microsoft.
I have worked with collaborators in Psychology and Education
on studies involving human reasoning processes. I am a participant in the Interaction Design Lab and the Agent Lab .
This page of stories and links,
maintained by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) discusses the type of
work that I find interesting.
My particular interests are in:
- Multi-agent systems - especially collaboration
- Automated negotiation and decision support
- Context-aware computing and technologies for personalisation
- Computational modelling of human problem solving
The integrating theme of my research is the conceptualisation and construction of more adaptive, distributed, and intelligent information systems. Much of the work focuses on agent technology, which views a distributed system in terms of interacting autonomous software entities. Using the agent metaphor can allow system developers to adopt a level of abstraction in design that is useful for modelling complex tasks and environments, and in building software systems that are robust in the face of change and unexpected events. An important aspect of the research is the requirement of the human-machine interface and consequent implications for the development of computational mechanisms to support decision-making in complex settings.
Current and recent projects include:
- Foundations of human-agent collaboration: situation-relevant information sharing- Funded 2013-2015 Australian Research Council - with Adrian Pearce Tim Miller and Frank Dignum (Universiteit Utrecht)
- Implicit Transmission of Embodied Culture - Funded 2010-2012 Australian Research Council - with Yoshi Kashima, Simon Laham, Nick Haslam, Frank Dignum
- Together with colleagues Tim Miller, Michael Kirley and Peter McBurney, I take an interest in Market Based Control, and specifically the CAT market design competition - which is leading to interesting student projects.
- Cross-Community Information Systems: Understanding Technology-Practice Fit in Healthcare - Funded 2008-2010
Australian Research Council
- with Steve Howard, Rens Scheepers
- Dynamic personalisation for assisted navigation of information rich, physical environments - the Kubadji project - Funded 2007-2009 Australian Research Council
- with Tim Baldwin and Stephen Bird (CSSE, UoM), Ingrid Zukerman (Monash), Lawrence Cavedon (RMIT and NICTA) and Carolyn Meehan (Melbourne Museum)
- Interest based Negotiation: Theory and Practice - Funded 2004-2007 Australian Research Council.
My various community and related activities include:
- Member, Committee supporting the U.S. National Academies of Science Project Integrating Humans, Machines and Networks: A Global Review of Data-to-Decision Technologies Report available (2014):
Complex Operational Decision Making in Networked Systems of Humans and Machines: A Multidisciplinary Approach
- Co-organiser, "Formal Methods for the Informal World," a research workshop - March 4th-8th, 2013 at the Lorentz Center, Leiden, The Netherlands - details here
- Invited Participant, Intelligent Human-Machine Collaboration Workshop, Washington June 2012 - summary available - National Academies Press - ISBN-10: 0-309-26264-X
- Invited speaker, 14th International Conference on Principles and Practice of Multi-Agent Systems (PRIMA-2011), Wollongong. November 2011
- General Co-Chair, together with Peter Stone (University of Texas at Austin) Tenth International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi Agent Systems, held in Taiwan in May, 2011
- Editorial Board Member, Knowledge Engineering Review published by Cambridge University Press
- Past Co-convenor of the Victorian eHealth Network - http://www.ehealthvic.org.au/
- Past Member of the Board of the International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems a non-profit organisation whose purpose is to promote science and technology in the area of artificial intelligence and multiagent systems (2002-2008)
- Occasional Senior Program Committee member AAMAS conferences
a coordinating editor of the Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems published by Springer.
Program Co-chair for
International Joint Conference on Agents and Multi Agent Systems
hosted in New York in July 2004
- one of the local organisers of the Second International Joint Conference on Agents and Multi Agent Systems hosted in Melbourne, July 14-18, 2003, and also helping to organise the associated Melbourne Agent Systems School and Doctoral Consortium.
- Occasional reviewer, Computing Reviews
- Frank Dignum, Utrecht University, December 2014, December 2013, June 2011, December 2009, December 2008, Jan-June 2006
- Peter McBurney, University of Liverpool, November 2009
- Virginia Dignum, Delft University, December 2014, December 2013, December 2008, Jan-June 2006
- Barry Silverman, University of Pennsylvania, Feb-March 2008
- Barbara Grosz, Harvard University, March 2007
- Ah Hwee Tan, NTU, Singapore 2006
Important information for prospective research students is here (read this before making contact re possible supervision):
I currently supervise or co-supervise the following students:
Useful resources for research students include:
My past students include:
- Beth Cardier, PhD, 2013 Unputdownable: how the agencies of compelling story assembly can be modeled using formalisable methods from Knowledge Representation, and in a fictional tale about seduction.- primary supervisor Kevin Brophy (Faculty of Arts)
- Jens Pfau, PhD 2013, Towards Computational Models of Cultural Dynamics Based on the Grounding Model of Cultural Transmission, primary supervisor Michael Kirley (CSSE), cosupervisor Yoshi Kashima (Psychological Sciences)
- Emma Norling, PhD, 2012, Modelling Human Behaviour with BDI Agents
- Karl Grieser, PhD, 2012, Computing Relationships and Relatedness Between Contextually Diverse Entities.- cosupervised with Tim Baldwin (CSSE)
- Fabian Bohnert, PhD 2010, Monash University, primary supervisor was Ingrid Zukerman, Monash University, Adaptive User Modelling and Recommendation in Constrained Physical Environments
- Yen Ting Kuo, PhD, 2010 Mining Surprising Patterns - cosupervised with Andrew Lonie and Adrian Pearce
- Daghan Acay, PhD 2009, Extrospection: Software Agents Reason about the Tools in Their Environment, co-supervised with Gil Tidhar
- Fernando Koch, PhD 2009, An Agent-Based Model for the Development of Intelligent Mobile Services Utrecht University, primary supervisors John-Jules Meyer and Frank Dignum
- Samin Karim, PhD 2009 Acquiring plans within situated resource-bounded agents: a hybrid BDI-based approach (cosupervised with Philippe Pasquier and Clint Heinze)
- Raymond So, PhD 2008, Situation awareness in software agents: Theory and practice
- Budhitama Subagdja, PhD 2007, Intentional learning in bounded-rational agents (cosupervised with Iyad Rahwan)
- Iyad Rahwan PhD, 2005, On interest-based negotiation
- Clinton Heinze, PhD 2003, Modelling Intention Recognition for Intelligent Agent Systems (cosupervised by Leon Sterling)
- Anne Rouse, PhD 2002, IT outsourcing revisited
- David Kinny, PhD 2001, Fundamentals of Agent Computation Theory: Semantics
- David Morley, PhD 1999, Semantics of Actions, Agents, and Environments
- Gil Tidhar, PhD 1999 Organisation Oriented Systems: Theory and Practice
- Todd Mansell, PhD 1995 (cosupervisor with G Smith, AAII), Planning under Uncertainty
- Wilson Wen, PhD 1991, Information Theory and Probabilistic Reasoning
All past students:
- Past students
- Since 2000 I have supervised the theses of a number of visiting masters students from Europe - including Utrecht University, Twente University
- "From Notions to Models and Back Again", Again. Invited presentation at PRIMA 2011
- Through the looking glass. In: Perspectives on Metrics-Based Research Evaluation - Two Years On, The University of Queensland,. 16-17 May 2011.