ACSOS 2023
Mon 25 - Fri 29 September 2023 Toronto, Canada

We are proud to include three high-profile keynotes into our program:

Christian Bettstetter (University of Klagenfurt) — Sync and swarm: From metronomes to drones

Abstract: Synchronization and swarming are two phenomena of self-organization in nature that are also relevant to engineering. In multi-robot systems, for example, temporal coordination is needed for tasks such as cooperative sensing and wireless communication; at the same time, mobile robots must be coordinated in the spatial domain to perform collaborative tasks. Recent research aims to develop a unified theory for synchronization and swarm behavior that accounts for their interplay. Entities that exhibit both phenomena are called “swarmalators.”

This keynote explores the use of swarmalators in robotics and related fields. The presentation first introduces the concept of self-organized synchronization, including its prevalence in natural systems, modeling with pulse-coupled oscillators, and its transfer to wireless systems. We then explain the coupling of synchronization with swarming and discuss the challenges of applying the swarmalator theory to technology. To demonstrate practical feasibility, we present prototypes of engineered swarmalator systems using mobile robots and drones. The talk concludes with emerging topics, providing insight into research directions in the field.

Biography: Christian Bettstetter is a professor of mobile systems and heads the Institute of Networked and Embedded Systems at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. Additionally, he serves as the scientific director of Lakeside Labs, a research and innovation company. He earned his doctoral degree (summa cum laude) in electrical engineering and information technology from TU Munich, Germany. Bettstetter leads a team focusing on wireless communications and self-organization in networked systems. Their work has applications in telecommunications, IoT, and mobile robotics. He also coordinates an interdisciplinary research cluster on self-organizing systems and is a faculty member in the Karl Popper school on networked autonomous aerial vehicles. He has received several scientific awards, including the Best Paper Awards at SASO 2019 and ACSOS 2021. His commitment to teaching was recently recognized with the university’s Excellence in Teaching Award. If you would like to reach out, you can find Christian on Twitter.

Jeff Kephart (IBM) — Viewing Autonomic Computing through the Lens of Embodied Artificial Intelligence

Abstract: A topic of central interest to the autonomic computing community is how to manage computing or other self-adaptive systems in dynamic environments. In years past, I had advocated an approach in which high-level goals are expressed in the form of utility functions, and optimization and/or feedback control techniques are used in conjunction with system models to adjust resources and tuning parameters to maximize utility. After outlining and illustrating the general concepts behind this idea, I will point out a significant flaw that the autonomic computing community (including myself) had ignored historically.

Then, I will introduce my recent work on embodied Artificial Intelligence agents, which are somewhat like Alexa, Siri, and other voice-driven assistants, with two major differences. First, they are designed to operate in the business realm, where they assist humans with data analysis and decision making. Second, they interact with people multi-modally, using speech in conjunction with non-verbal modalities like pointing and facial expression.

In the final third of my talk, I will explain why I believe embodied AI agents can solve the fundamental flaw of utility-based autonomic computing and speculate about how autonomic computing can contribute to the growth of embodied AI, especially given recent AI advances such as ChatGPT.

Biography: Jeffrey O. Kephart is a distinguished research scientist who currently leads research on embodied AI systems at IBM Research in Yorktown Heights, New York, USA. He is known in various academic circles for his work on computer virus epidemiology and immune systems, electronic commerce agents, and data center energy management, but to the ACSOS community he is best known for his leadership and research in founding autonomic computing as an academic discipline, for which he was awarded the rank of IEEE Fellow in 2013. His 2003 IEEE Computer paper on “The Vision of Autonomic Computing” has been cited over 8500 times. In 2004, Kephart co-founded the International Conference on Autonomic Computing, which recently merged with SASO to become ACSOS. Kephart’s work has been featured in Scientific American, The New York Times, Wired, Forbes, The Atlantic Monthly, Discover Magazine, and comparable publications, and he has co-authored over 200 papers and 75 patents. He graduated from Princeton University with a BS in electrical engineering (engineering physics) and received his PhD from Stanford University in electrical engineering, with a minor in physics.

Mihaela Ulieru (Impact Institute for the Digital Economy) — Smart Cities in the Fourth Industrial Revolution Era

Abstract: In this Keynote I will take the audience on a journey “From Mars to the Slums”, incorporating the lessons from both these very different environments – one artificially created to isolate and protect us from the external impact of the natural factors that are worsening the status quo, while the other teaching us about how cities grow organically and how we can apply “design by emergence” to make better decisions regarding where to place the infrastructure and invest in better alignment with the needs of citizens.

I will introduce a paradigm shift in how we think about smart city using a multi-dimensional model rolled into one concept called “Smart City Maturity Model” which can help us to decide in which stage in the development we are. This system of thinking is concocted of many layers: the supra-structures (culture, politics) the core-structure (economy/digital economy) the infra-structure (core and heart of a smart city), resources (citizens and nature).

The goal is to create a sustainable city enabled by technology which unleashes the “Social Network Operating System” co-creating smart services in which we engage the citizens as Actors. They are producers, “players,” and “inputs” whose interactions steer complex, interdependent systems linking hybrid sectors of the economy and society. We are looking for the principles of management and engineering of these emerging complex networked systems that will infuse them with the ability to discover a variety of potential solutions in their repertoire, when confronted with a problem-rich environment. The recent example of my work with the CIO of Kyiv City to increase the resilience through 4IR technologies will give insights into the design thinking involved.

Biography: Dr. Mihaela Ulieru is a technology alchemist and is an innovator at the edge of the impossible. She is founder and President of the IMPACT Institute for the Digital Economy (IMPACT stands for ” Innovation Management and Policy Accelerated with Communication Technologies”), which she founded at the peak of her illustrious academic career as a consulting arm of her work aiming at policy reforms for the adoption of latest digital technologies in all areas of society and sectors of the economy. Along the way she kept inspiring and supporting young entrepreneurs – one of her first MSc students was Garret Camp, co-founder of Uber and StumbleUpon – and she currently advises several startups aiming to put the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” technologies (AI, Blockchain, IoT, AR/VR) to work to make the world a better place.

She has held and holds appointments to a plethora of advisory boards and councils, among which: the Science, Technology and Innovation Council of Canada (appointed by the Minister of Industry), the Science and Engineering Research Council of Singapore (appointed by the PM), Expert to the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Data-Driven Development where as part of her work she proposed Blockchain to be added to the Top 10 Future and Emerging Technologies.

As a thought leader Dr. Ulieru promotes the advantages of leveraging Blockchain and its potential to create equality and a fairer society through the inclusion of the 99% in the economy. As a top high tech academic researcher she spearheaded and led major multi-stakeholder programs leading the scaling-up of operations through strategic partnerships and networks in Industrial Informatics, the Future of Medicine, Self-Organizing Security, the EnergyWeb, Global Manufacturing Systems, and Sustainable Personal Living Technologies. She has authored over 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles, Keynoted over 250 events, supports several non-profits and foundations and still has time to write poetry.