Aug/Sep 96 Travel Report

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This was a trip to attend ECAI-96 and continue some German collaborations, most notably with the University of Kaiserslautern. See the last trip report. This work was in support of the DSC project.

11 Aug 96

8:25 SFO DEL 964
15:54 Atlanta
17:20 DEL 146 AA84

12 Aug 96

10:55 Budapest

Attending ECAI-96 Workshop on Non-Standard Constraint Processing
Stayed at
Hotel Platanus
1087 Budapest Koenyves Kalman krt 44
Tel: (36-1) 210-2599, (36-1) 210-2592, (36-1) 133-6505
Tx: 22-2100, Fax: 210-4386

At this conference, I presented the paper Combining Constraint Propagation and Backtracking for Distributed Engineering. I also gave a live demo using Java applets as agent clients. Our approach was unique among the other papers presented in that we gave a framework and services for problem solving as opposed to presenting a novel constraint satisfaction algorithm that attempted to solve the problem. The paper that was closest to ours was "Dynamic Meta Constraints" by Janet Vander <>. We are studying the relationship of this technique to our decision-dependent constaints.

At this conference, I was on the panel "What is an Agent?" of the Agent Theories, Architechtures, and Languages (ATAL-96) Workshop. My position paper will be by Springer-Verlag in the LNAI series under the title "Intelligent Agents III".

Note: the trip after this point was funded by my German hosts and myself.

16 Aug 96

Train to Berlin
Working at the DaimlerBenz
Dr. Kurt Sundermeyer <>.

At this center, I gave a talk on distributed engineering and agents. I also saw demonstrations and reviewed technologies as follows.

21 Aug 96

Train to Kaiserslautern
Working at the University of Kaiserslautern
Invited speaker at Coordinating Work Processes
Worked here remotely for three weeks.
Contact: Frank Maurer <> Lodging:
Universitaet Gaestehaus Room 215
Phone: 0631/311515

While working at with this group, we reviewed the dependency structures of Redux, CoMoKit, and Procura. While Procura is more dynamic than CoMoKit, it is clear that there are certain directions we should all pursue. One extension to Procura is guidance by a pre-existing plan, perhaps developed in DesignRoadmap. OTOH, CoMoKit needs to deal with inputs/outputs different from those planned.

Discussions with Frank Maurer and Prof. Richter lead me to think that two extensions might be made to Redux. The most important is to support metadecisions to get information in order to decide which of several alternatives is best. This sort of activity is important but not represented by Redux.

Another extension is an approval cycle. Frank Maurer's aplication is extremely concerned with authority and correctness. Someone should determine whether the decision of a given agent to accomplish a task really does accomplish the task in an acceptable manner. This is an important consideration and we worked on the dependencies in detail. Much of this work should show up in the next revision of CoMoKit.
Contact: Barbara Dellen

10 Sep 96

Train to Bonn
ab 15.02 SE 3169 an 16.03 Mannheim Hbf ab 16.07 EC 112 an 18.07 Bonn
Lecture on Wednesday at the GMD AI Colloquium

Contact: Hans Voss <>
also Gloria Mark at <>
02241 342 808

I gave my agents' definition talk and had the first spirited debate with an Tom Gordon who insisted that legal authority to act in someone's behalf was the best definition, but he still had not yet formalized this notion to exclude any particular set of computer programs.

The projects I reviewed were:

That concluded the working portion of this trip.

11 Sep 96

Train to Münich
an 16.20 IC 605 an 18.23 Mannheim ab 18.27 ICE 799 an 21.16 München
Contact: Donald Steiner <>
Siemens AG
Otto-Hahn-Ring 6
D-81739 Munich
Tel: +49 89 636-42590
Nornenweg 3
85521 Riemerling
phone (089)604261

12 Sep 96

ab 09.38 IR 2191 an 11.12 Freilassing
ab 11.42 RB 5515 an 12.30 Berchtesgaden

16 Sep 96

ab 07.15 RB 5504 an 08.03 Freilassing
ab 08.46 IR 2196 an 10.09 München OST
ab 10.32 S an 11.01 München Flughafen

12:50 Münich DEL 6216
15:35 NYC
17:50 DEL 6216
20:59 SFO