IEEE/ACM DS-RT 2013: Keynote Speaker Bios

        IEEE/ACM DS-RT 2013

Keynote Speakers


Keynote Speakers

  Dr Andreas Tolk

Chief Scientist, SimIS Inc., Portsmouth, VA
Adjunct Professor, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

Title: Interoperability, Composability, and their Implications for Distributed Simulation

Date: Thursday - October 31st, 2013

Interoperability is generally defined as the ability to exchange data and to make use of these data within the receiving system. For information technology systems this definition makes perfect sense, as the exchange of data via common protocols in a shared infrastructure is the only way to make systems work with each other. For simulation systems, however, the exchange and use of data is necessary, but not sufficient. As simulation systems execute models, which are results of a purposeful abstraction and simplifications of a task-oriented perception of reality, meaningful interoperation requires the alignment of concepts represented in the underlying models. Composability ensure the alignment of concepts by ensuring the consistent representation of interpretations of truth in all participating systems. The presented work uses a branch of mathematics called model theory to motivate these definitions and shows the implications for validity and verification, model-based approaches, and simulation interoperability standards.

Short Bio:
Andreas Tolk is Chief Scientist for SimIS, Inc. in Portsmouth, VA, and adjunct Professor at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. He holds a PhD (1995) and a M.S. (1988) in Computer Science, both from the University of the Federal Armed Forces of Germany in Munich. He received the Frank Batten Excellence in Research award in 2008, the Technical Merit Award from the Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization in 2010, and the Outstanding Professional Contributions award from the Society for Modeling and Simulation in 2012. He published more than 200 papers on simulation and systems engineering topics and edited four books. His email is
andreas [dot] tolk [at] simisinc [dot] com.

  Dr. Niek Wijngaards

Senior Researcher & Program Manager
D-CIS Lab / Thales Research & Technology Netherlands

Title: Agents in a federated world

Date: Friday - November 1st, 2013

Any application operating in a distributed environment must be designed to allow for a number of idiosyncrasies including autonomy, asynchronous processing, and multiple organisational entities. The latter aspect, also known as federation, poses additional challenges such as lacking overall centralised control and/or authorities. In our work at Thales Research & Technology Netherlands (TRT-NL) we investigate this domain and construct our prototypes and demonstrators on a strong foundation in agent technology.
In this talk I will briefly highlight three major agent-enabled assets of TRT-NL that are currently of high interest to Thales. The first is a means to dynamically compose information processing networks, integrating both human and artificial capabilities for both sense-making and decision-making capabilities. Such “Dynamic Expertise Integration Networks” are furthermore designed for change: users themselves can augment the system.
The second asset is a means to solve a typical problem: rescheduling of crews triggered by disruptions to their schedules. The Dutch railroads provided a challenging puzzle to both adhere to individual preferences of train drivers and to the original schedule.
The third asset is a means to bring information sharing under control as an enabler for inter-organisation cooperation using a public-private use-case: a safety region and a steel factory. By providing an information-bound security overlay, it becomes possible to dynamically (i.e., during runtime) grant, deny and revoke access to information.

Short Bio:
Dr. Niek Wijngaards received his PhD in 1999 on the topic of self-modifying agent systems using a re-design process at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA). Since 1998 he worked for a year at the University of Canada as a Postdoctoral-Fellow and then returned to the VUA, where he became an assistant professor from 2000 to 2004 at the Intelligent Interactive Distributed Systems group. Since October 2004 he works for Thales Research & Technology Netherlands as senior researcher and program manager. He is fully employed at D-CIS Lab. Wijngaards is involved in research on and applications of complex systems of systems involving both humans (actors) and machines (agents). His current challenges include bringing research prototypes towards business pilots, in close cooperation with business developers and launching customers.