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Dr Marina De Vos
Department of Computer Science
Tuesday, 17-Oct-2017 17:56:19 BST

Msc. Project Suggestions 2006 - 2007

On this page you can find a number of project suggestions for students on the Msc. in Computer Science and Msc. Multi-Media Technology. Feel free to contact me with suggestions of your own.

These are the current project suggestions:

  1. Project 1: APE: An IDE for ASP (Continuation)
  2. Project 2: Reasoning about Web-Services with ASP
  3. Project 3: Reasoning about Workflows with ASP
  4. Project 4: "SETI@Home" Style Answer Set Solver
  5. Project 5: Instant Messaging for Agents

Project 1: APE: An IDE for ASP (Continuation)

Task - Extend APE with new functionality

Description - ASP (Answer Set Programming) is an up and coming field in logic programming. Programs consist of a series of logical rules which are then put into a solver, which produces a list of 'possible world views' that are consistent with the information provided by the rules. It has a lot of potential for tasks such a knowledge representation, scheduling, planning, data mining, etc. At the moment a number of solvers exist but there are very few support tools to help programmers. Two years ago, Adrian Sureshkumar, an undergraduate from Bath, created APE, an IDE for ASP. APE is written as an Eclipse plug-in. The development files are available from Adrian also investigated the features that the community would like to have in an IDE. This project's aim is to further develop APE by including debugging features, conversion tools between the various systems and other useful tools. Furthermore, the requirement elicitation should continue. One could also consider drafting a possible input language that all current state-of-the art systems would accept.

Project 2: Reasoning about Web-Services with ASP

Task - Develop an ASP reasoning tool for Web-Services

Description - Web-services are (in an ideal world) semantically annotated programmes that have a web-presence and can be run remotely run. They are often used in workflows. Given a description of a task is the responsibility of the broker and the matchmaker to find the appropriate web-service(s) to successfully complete the task. For this project, we want to investigate the appropriateness of Answer Set Programming, a logic programming language, for the description of and the reasoning about web-services.

Project 3: Reasoning about Workflows with ASP

Task - Develop an ASP reasoning tool to model and reason about workflows

Description - To follow

Project 4: "SETI@Home" Style Answer Set Solver

Task - Implementing a new distribution model for Platypus (the client) and a central server to handle solving very large ASP problems in a distributed, ad-hoc fashion.

Description - The distribution system of Platypus works by distributing partial assignments - points within a tree of computations in which the leaves are conflicts or answer sets. The probing module allows an implementer change partial assignment after a fixed number of conflicts have been reached. This allows the work to be divided up into packets in such a way that a packet of work is deterministic and repeatable. The central server stores these packets of work as files in a file-system and assigns them to clients. This allows clients to work at their own rate, using a distributed, ad-hoc networking model and not needing interaction between them. Using the file-system to store the computation tree means that tools (such as monitoring, logging, partial recomputes, etc.) can be greatly simplified and the server is fault tolerant and easily distributed.

Project 5: Instant Messaging for Agents

Task - Write a program that takes an answer set program as input and returns its game tree and winning strategies

Description - Instant messaging tech like MSN-messenger, Yahoo instant messenger, ICQ, AIM and jabber have all taken off in a big way as media for quick, casual interaction between humans.

In general users can see whether the other party is online and sometimes other information like whether or not they want to be contacted.

It would be interesting to see to what extent this can be integrated as a user-interface mechanism for autonomous agents.

Focusing particularly on jabber (which is the only technology mentioned which is both standardised in a sensible way (based on published XML schemas), with a number of open source implementations) investigate different ways in which IM can be used for human-agent interaction.

There are a number of possible applications from simple notifications to user queries.

Related Reading: -