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In computer science, a software agent is a computer program that acts on behalf of a user or other program. Specific types of agents include intelligent agents, autonomous agents, distributed agents, multi-agent systems and mobile agents. Because of the variety of agents and the privileges agents have to represent the user or program, they are of significant cybersecurity community research interest.

  • Cain, Ashley A.; Schuster, David, "Measurement of situation awareness among diverse agents in cyber security," Cognitive Methods in Situation Awareness and Decision Support (CogSIMA), 2014 IEEE International Inter-Disciplinary Conference on , vol., no., pp.124,129, 3-6 March 2014. (ID#:14-1609) Available at: Development of innovative algorithms, metrics, visualizations, and other forms of automation are needed to enable network analysts to build situation awareness (SA) from large amounts of dynamic, distributed, and interacting data in cyber security. Several models of cyber SA can be classified as taking an individual or a distributed approach to modeling SA within a computer network. While these models suggest ways to integrate the SA contributed by multiple actors, implementing more advanced data center automation will require consideration of the differences and similarities between human teaming and human-automation interaction. The purpose of this paper is to offer guidance for quantifying the shared cognition of diverse agents in cyber security. The recommendations presented can inform the development of automated aids to SA as well as illustrate paths for future empirical research. Keywords: Automation; Autonomous agents; Cognition; Computer security; Data models; Sociotechnical systems; Situation awareness; cognition; cyber security; information security; teamwork

  • Leal, E.T.; Chiotti, O.; Villarreal, P.D., "Software Agents for Management Dynamic Inter-Organizational Collaborations," Latin America Transactions, IEEE (Revista IEEE America Latina) , vol.12, no.2, pp.330,341, March 2014. (ID#:14-16010) Available at: The globalization, modern markets, as well as new organizational management philosophies and advances in Information and Communications Technologies, encourage organizations to establish collaboration networks or inter-organizational collaborations. In this paper we propose a technology solution based on software agents which allows supporting the management of collaborative business processes in environments dynamic inter-organizational collaborations. First, we propose a software agent platform that integrates in agent specification's the notions of Belief-Desire-Intention agent architecture with functionalities of process-aware information systems. The platform enables organizations to negotiate collaborations agreements in electronic format to establish dynamic inter-organizational collaborations and define the collaborative processes to be executed. Second, we propose a methodology that includes methods based on Model-Driven Development, which enable the generation of executable process models and the code of process-oriented agents, derived from conceptual models of collaborative processes. This methodology and methods are implemented and automated by software agents that enable the generations of these implementation artifacts, at run-time of the platform. Therefore, the platform enables the automatic generation of the technology solution that requires each organization to execute the agreed collaborative processes, where the generated artifacts are built and initialized in the platform, allowing the implementation and execution of these processes. In this way, the proposed agent-based platform allows to establish collaboration among heterogeneous and autonomous organizations focusing in the process-oriented integration. Keywords: business data processing; globalization; groupware; organizational aspects; software agents; software architecture; agent specification; agent-based platform; automatic generation; autonomous organization; belief-desire-intention agent architecture; collaboration networks; collaborations agreements; collaborative business processes; collaborative processes; dynamic interorganizational collaborations; electronic format; executable process models; globalization; heterogeneous organizations; information and communications technology; management dynamic interorganizational collaboration; model-driven development; organizational management philosophy; process-aware information systems; process-oriented agents; process-oriented integration; software agent platform; software agents; Adaptation models; Collaboration; Organizations; Software agents; Unified modeling language; Collaborative Business Process; Dynamic Inter-Organizational Collaborations; Model-Driven Development; Software Agents

  • Xu, J.; Song, Y.; van der Schaar, M., "Sharing in Networks of Strategic Agents," Selected Topics in Signal Processing, IEEE Journal of, vol.PP, no.99, pp.1,1, April 2014. (ID#:14-1611) Available at: In social, economic and engineering networks, connected agents need to cooperate by repeatedly sharing information and/or goods. Typically, sharing is costly and there are no immediate benefits for agents who share. Hence, agents who strategically aim to maximize their own individual utilities will "free-ride" because they lack incentives to cooperate/share, thereby leading to inefficient operation or even collapse of networks. To incentivize the strategic agents to cooperate with each other, we design distributed rating protocols which exploit the ongoing nature of the agents' interactions to assign ratings and through them, determine future rewards and punishments: agents that have behaved as directed enjoy high ratings - and hence greater future access to the information/goods of others; agents that have not behaved as directed enjoy low ratings - and hence less future access to the information/goods of others. Unlike existing rating protocols, the proposed protocol operates in a distributed manner and takes into consideration the underlying interconnectivity of agents as well as their heterogeneity. We prove that in many networks, the price of anarchy (PoA) obtained by adopting the proposed rating protocols is 1, that is, the optimal social welfare is attained. In networks where PoA is larger than 1, we show that the proposed rating protocol significantly outperforms existing incentive mechanisms. Last but not least, the proposed rating protocols can also operate efficiently in dynamic networks, where new agents enter the network over time. Keywords: (not provided)

  • Khac Duc Do, "Bounded Assignment Formation Control of Second-Order Dynamic Agents," Mechatronics, IEEE/ASME Transactions on , vol.19, no.2, pp.477,489, April 2014. (ID#:14-1612) Available at: A constructive design of bounded formation controllers is proposed to force N mobile agents with second-order dynamics to track N reference trajectories and to avoid collision between them. Instead of a prior assignation of the reference trajectories to the agents, optimal assignment algorithms are used to assign desired reference trajectories to the agents to obtain optimal criteria such as linear summation and bottleneck functions of the initial traveling distances of the agents. After the reference trajectories are optimally assigned, the bounded formation control design is based on a new bounded control design technique for second-order systems and new pairwise collision avoidance functions. The pairwise collision functions are functions of both relative positions and relative velocities of the agents instead of only relative positions as in the literature. The proposed results are illustrated on a group of underactuated omnidirectional intelligent navigators in a vertical plane. Keywords: collision avoidance; control system synthesis; mobile robots; robot dynamics; N-reference trajectory tracking; bottleneck functions; bounded assignment formation control constructive design ;initial traveling distances; linear summation; mobile agents; optimal assignment algorithms; optimal criteria; pairwise collision functions; second-order dynamic agent system; underactuated omnidirectional intelligent navigators; vertical plane; Algorithm design and analysis; Collision avoidance; Control design; Shape; Stability analysis; Trajectory; Vectors; Assignment; bounded formation control; collision avoidance; potential functions; second-order agents

  • Clark, A.; Alomair, B.; Bushnell, L.; Poovendran, R., "Minimizing Convergence Error in Multi-Agent Systems Via Leader Selection: A Supermodular Optimization Approach," Automatic Control, IEEE Transactions on , vol.59, no.6, pp.1480,1494, June 2014. (ID#:14-1613) Available at: In a leader-follower multi-agent system (MAS), the leader agents act as control inputs and influence the states of the remaining follower agents. The rate at which the follower agents converge to their desired states, as well as the errors in the follower agent states prior to convergence, are determined by the choice of leader agents. In this paper, we study leader selection in order to minimize convergence errors experienced by the follower agents, which we define as a norm of the distance between the follower agents' intermediate states and the convex hull of the leader agent states. By introducing a novel connection to random walks on the network graph, we show that the convergence error has an inherent supermodular structure as a function of the leader set. Supermodularity enables development of efficient discrete optimization algorithms that directly approximate the optimal leader set, provide provable performance guarantees, and do not rely on continuous relaxations. We formulate two leader selection problems within the supermodular optimization framework, namely, the problem of selecting a fixed number of leader agents in order to minimize the convergence error, as well as the problem of selecting the minimum-size set of leader agents to achieve a given bound on the convergence error. We introduce algorithms for approximating the optimal solution to both problems in static networks, dynamic networks with known topology distributions, and dynamic networks with unknown and unpredictable topology distributions. Our approach is shown to provide significantly lower convergence errors than existing random and degree-based leader selection methods in a numerical study. Keywords: Approximation algorithms; Convergence; Heuristic algorithms; Network topology; Optimization; Topology; Upper bound; Multi-agent system (MAS)

  • Dayong Ye; Minjie Zhang; Sutanto, D., "Cloning, Resource Exchange, and Relation Adaptation: An Integrative Self-Organization Mechanism in a Distributed Agent Network," Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions on , vol.25, no.4, pp.887,897, April 2014. (ID#:14-1614) Available at: Self-organization provides a suitable paradigm for developing self-managed complex distributed systems, such as grid computing and sensor networks. In this paper, an integrative self-organization mechanism is proposed. Unlike current related studies, which propose only a single principle of self-organization, this mechanism synthesizes the three principles of self-organization: cloning/spawning, resource exchange and relation adaptation. Based on this mechanism, an agent can autonomously generate new agents when it is overloaded, exchange resources with other agents if necessary, and modify relations with other agents to achieve a better agent network structure. In this way, agents can adapt to dynamic environments. The proposed mechanism is evaluated through a comparison with three other approaches, each of which represents state-of-the-art research in each of the three self-organisation principles. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed mechanism outperforms the three approaches in terms of the profit of individual agents and the entire agent network, the load-balancing among agents, and the time consumption to finish a simulation run. Keywords: distributed processing; multi-agent systems; resource allocation; agent network structure; autonomous agent generation; cloning principle; distributed agent network; grid computing; integrative self-organization mechanism; load-balancing; relation adaptation principle; resource exchange principle; self-managed complex distributed systems; self-organization principle; sensor networks; simulation run; spawning principle; Cloning; Equations; Layout; Mathematical model; Multi-agent systems; Nickel; Resource management; Distributed multi-agent system; reinforcement learning; self-organization

  • Isidori, A.; Marconi, L.; Casadei, G., "Robust Output Synchronization of a Network of Heterogeneous Nonlinear Agents via Nonlinear Regulation Theory," Automatic Control, IEEE Transactions on, vol. PP, no.99, pp.1,1, May 2014. (ID#:14-1615) Available at: In this paper, we consider the output synchronization problem for a network of heterogeneous diffusively-coupled nonlinear agents. Specifically, we show how the (heterogeneous) agents can be controlled in such a way that their outputs asymptotically track the output of a prescribed nonlinear exosystem. The problem is solved in two steps. In the first step, the problem of achieving consensus among (identical) nonlinear reference generators is addressed. In this respect, it is shown how the techniques recently developed to solve the consensus problem among linear agents can be extended to agents modeled by nonlinear d-dimensional differential equations, under the assumption that the communication graph is connected. In the second step, the theory of nonlinear output regulation is applied in a decentralized control mode, to force the output of each agent of the network to robustly track the (synchronized) output of a local reference model. Simulation results are presented to show the effectiveness of the design methodology. Keywords: Eigenvalues and eigenfunctions; Generators; Mathematical model; Nonlinear systems; Regulators; Synchronization; Trajectory

  • Turguner, Cansin, "Secure fault tolerance mechanism of wireless Ad-Hoc networks with mobile agents," Signal Processing and Communications Applications Conference (SIU), 2014 22nd , vol., no., pp.1620,1623, 23-25 April 2014. (ID#:14-1616) Available at: Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks are dynamic and wireless self-organization networks that many mobile nodes connect to each other weakly. To compare with traditional networks, they suffer failures that prevent the system from working properly. Nevertheless, we have to cope with many security issues such as unauthorized attempts, security threats and reliability. Using mobile agents in having low level fault tolerance ad-hoc networks provides fault masking that the users never notice. Mobile agent migration among nodes, choosing an alternative paths autonomous and, having high level fault tolerance provide networks that have low bandwidth and high failure ratio, more reliable. In this paper we declare that mobile agents fault tolerance peculiarity and existing fault tolerance method based on mobile agents. Also in ad-hoc networks that need security precautions behind fault tolerance, we express the new model: Secure Mobil Agent Based Fault Tolerance Model. Keywords: Ad hoc networks; Conferences; Erbium; Fault tolerance; Fault tolerant systems; Mobile agents; Signal processing; Ad-Hoc network; fault tolerance; mobile agent; related works; secure communication


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