I-X |AKT | CoAKTing

Proposal from Austin Tate, AKT Project Draft notes: 15-Jun-2001
Disclaimer: This project is at an early formative stage and is not officially endorsed as a potential project by the AKT IRC.

These are some ideas for a project that might involve all 4 IRCs. Its meant to be a project to look at distributed task support and collaboration via the Grid using agent, planning and knowledge technologies and trying to use test scenarios and aspects that could bring in AKT (knowledge agents), Equator (collaboration and advanced user interfaces), DIRC (dependable computing in life critical situations) and Medical Imaging (for the scenario and collaboration aspects).

A test scenario involving a remote mountaineering accident that quickly escalates to some serious problems needing much local and remote cooperation and medical assistance could act as a link that binds the 4 IRCs together.

A smaller additional scenario might look at emergency response to a "care in the community" situation.

A larger additional scenario might look at large scale scientific team collaboration and could involve at least two of the IRC's and perhaps all of them to assist in their cooperative work between themselves,a and with other Grid-research groups.

The project would focus on multi-site e-Science collaboration and activity/process/task support. Intelligent (Grid-enabled) agents would be used in to assist individuals, meetings and group processes and workflow to support tasks and collaboration intelligently and safely.

This would incorporate research on the following:

  • intelligent agent technology
  • advanced knowledge technologies, ontlologies, capability descriptions, etc.
  • use AI domain, capability and task models
  • use methods from the AI planning community
  • use methods from the intelligent process management/workflow community
  • employ knowledge modelling, semantic web and ontology technologies
  • use and provide feedback on emerging standards for the web and grid such as XML, XML Schema, XSL, RDF, DAML+OIL, UPML
  • test (but not develop) different Grid frameworks for this
  • test (but not develop) Java/Jini Grid technologies already in use by some of the participants
  • incorporate (but not further develop) collaboration tools, videoconferencing aids, data walls, etc.
The project would conduct a series of integrated feasibility demonstrations (IFDs) which would focus the work with demonstrations on a frequent basis that integrated more functionality as the research progressed. An initial demonstration would be promised within 6 months of start to link available technologies, and 6 monthly thereafter.

There could be links to all 3 of the other IRCs involved in Grid projects. The project could have demonstrators involving scientific collaboration between at least AKT and Equator and a life critical scenario involving Medical Imaging and DIRC.

This research would be tested using two or three (perhaps a fourth later) applications, with the potential for escalation of each, (depending on the other IRCs and the associated user/technology organisations interested in the work):

  1. Collaboration between partners for intelligent meeting support, technical exchange, AKT Club dissemination, etc. This could use a tool base such as the open source Collaborative Virtual Workspace (CVW) originally from Mitre. This would be extended with an "intelligent blackboard" for each participant (possibly via PDAs), each "room" and each building (site) that uses agent profiles to help direct interaction and collaboration (again, in collaboration with Equator).
    • Sample scientific research collaboration scenario
      Support to colaboration and knowledge sharing between scientific research groups e.g., for technical meetings and teams via intelligent agents and intelligent meeting rooms (as in I-Room proposal under AKT)
  2. Medical protocol (procedure) support for a task requiring emergency medical image interpretation and a set of best practice protocols (in collaboration with the Medical Informatics and DIRC IRC)
    • Sample life critical scenario
      mountaineer problem in remote area personal (PDA) support local emergency procedural support escalate to use distributed specialised medical teams
  3. Emergency response while monitoring care in the community situations.
    • The context would be an advanced monitoring system for elderly or at risk patients wo are being looked after in their homes or communities rather than hospitalised. Apprpriate local, regional and national resoitrces could be called upon to repond in a timely and appropriate way to a range of emergencies. These would account for the contxt of the individual involved and the resources available to hand and elsewhere.
    • Sample care in the community scenario
      Ideas for developing this scenario to include an information gathering and interpretation element from Tom Rodden includes the following:
      1. Emergency Services and support for emergency services where there are devices in the field that measure biometric material need to access a wide range of records (including existing medical records and other incident records).
      2. Home based support for Well being. Where a range of devices are provided to support longitudinal recording with a view toward preventative medicine. This would work toward some sense of real time epidemiology where trends can be collected remotely etc..
      3. Medical devices for developing nations. Malcolm Atkinson at Glasgow was saying he had existing support to help provide medical support where low cost devices would be placed in developing nations allowing remote monitor, diagnosis and expertise. The aim would be to maximise access from sets of central services.
  4. There is a possibility of another larger scale scenario to link into the proposed "RoboCup Rescue" challenge scenario for disaster relief in events such as the Kobe earthquake in Japan. A simulator is being built for such a scenario (by USC/ISI) that will allow command, planning, control and communications systems to be tested and evaluated (as well as robotic aids). A possible link to research on what Austin Tate calls "showflakes" - massively deployed simple sensors and on-the-ground agent systems which can self configure and provide information and local knowledge (via a computing Grid) to higher knowledge-level task and planning aids is a possible development of this work in cooperation with other international partners and those interested in information fusion.
    • Sample disaster relief scenario
      RoboCup Rescue International Interdiscplinary Cooperative Research and challenge problem (see diagram)
We envisage that AKT could usefully collaborate with other IRCs in the following manner:


Possible Team

Resources possible are around 3-4 RAs over 3 years starting October 2001?


Possible User & Technology Organisation Interest

Possible Project Structure

Overall Name: AKTinG (Advanced Knowledge Technologies in the Grid)
  1. Monologue- Agent Knowledge Technologies in the Grid (AKTinG)
    AKT Only
    Focus: Knowledge Agents on the Grid
    Application in current AKT challenge problems and test cases
  2. Dialogue - provision of AKT in collaborative environments (prAKTice)
    AKT + Equator
    Focus: advanced knowledge based collaboration
    Application to AKT scientific collaboration and AKT/Equator collaboration
  3. Full Cast - Medical prAKTice AKT + Equator + DIRC + Medical Imaging
    Medical Informatics scenarios including use of collaboration tools for medical consultations and for medical life critical rescue emergency tasks
  4. World Stage - Disaster Relief (:-) AKTinG + International Programmes Disaster relief joint research and challenge scanario. Links to coalition research. Links to RoboCup Rescue.

Notes on Scenarios

Notes provided by Rob Milne, IA Ltd on 22-May-2001...

It is winter. A few hill walkers in the Cairngorms on the Munros (maybe the peak Beinn Mheadhoin) above Derry Lodge from Linn of Dee, west of Braemar. The usual storm comes in and they get separated. wandering in the mist, one person slips down a big snow slope and breaks a leg and has head injuries. Meanwhile another descends north and starts to head out that glen, but ends up taking 2 days (that has happened many times). Another goes over the east side, finds themselves above a cliff and decides to sit it out (also common). One of them calls for help in a mobile phone. [ bad weather, tough approach, but can be reached from 3 directions, it will take a while to realise that one or two are lost] Lots of searching, plus bad injuries, time delays because of the bad weather.

Then the storm lifts and they get a chopper and medical team in. Still searching for the others ...

Then, the helicopter crashes. A couple more serious injuries. Plus the weather guys say more storms are coming ... could turn into a big multi-day epic with 100 people and need for remote diagnosis and medical assistance pretty fast!

Unstructured Collaboration - Compendium

Simon Buckingham-Shum (OU) on 15-Jun-2001 wrote:

I have been working with US colleagues (for the last decade now) on a KM approach and technology (called Compendium) to support the gathering and integration of requirements across diverse stakeholders. It was used, for instance, by Bell Atlantic to underpin their Y2K Contingency Planning: "What do we do if all the phones in New York State go down on January 1st?..." [1]

It strikes me that Compendium could find application for bringing together the many agencies involved in the proposed Disaster  Relief Scenario, to assist communication, and in order for us to define what AKT could offer. By coincidence, I am already in talks with one relief agency.

(AKT NOTE: I'm also planning to integrate Compendium into the emerging suite of  technologies. As illustrated in [2-3], it's already talking to D3E.)

[1] Selvin, A. M., & Buckingham Shum, S. J. (2001, in press). Rapid Knowledge Construction: A Case Study in Corporate Contingency Planning Using Collaborative Hypermedia. Journal of Knowledge and Process Management. PrePrint:  <http://kmi.open.ac.uk/tr/papers/kmi-tr-92.pdf>

[2] Selvin, A., Buckingham Shum, S., Sierhuis, M., Conklin, J., Zimmermann, B., Palus , C., Drath, W., Horth, D., Domingue, J., Motta, E., & Li, G. (2001). Compendium: Making Meetings into Knowledge Events. Knowledge Technologies 2001, (March 4-7, 2001, Austin TX).  <http://www.compendiuminstitute.org/compendium/papers/Selvin-KT2001.pdf>

[3] Selvin et al (2001). Participatory, Real Time, Hybrid Knowledge Capture. Submission to K-CAP 2001.

AIAI Page maintained by a.tate@ed.ac.uk, Last updated: Sat Mar 2 23:26:06 2002
Medical image via FireViewer on a Palm Handheld
Mountain rescue at night by helicopter image from The Mountaineering Council of Scotland