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WG1 Architectures, Methods and Models for ARTS

This Working Group will directly take up the engineering challenge of the Action. It will encourage research groups to consider a range of architectural approaches, taking into account the heterogeneous, embedded, spatially distributed nature of the area, and the enormous amount of data and knowledge that RTS systems currently have available. Candidate architectures include hierarchical, layered, behavioural, opportunistic, action-planning, peer to peer architectures as well as hybrid architectures, incorporated to classical, multi-agent, cloud, ambient intelligence or other modern complex system paradigms.
Group meetings will look to gain a consensus about the role and importance of methods and knowledge formulations from leading edge research in areas such as artificial intelligence (neural networks, fuzzy logic, evolutionary systems, semantic technologies, learning), logic (logical knowledge engineering, propositional inference, logical resolution), decision making under uncertainty (Markov decision processes, Bayesian networks, Kalman filters, stochastic graphs).
From the data interpretation viewpoint, knowledge extraction and data mining techniques (data aggregation, regression analysis, time series, outliers and change point detection), simulation (discrete event, finite element analysis, fluid dynamics) as well as their integration with traffic management/control methods (traffic flow theory, freeway traffic control, adaptive cruise control, traffic light regulation methods) will be studied.
In parallel with the focus on engineering, the group will motivate theoreticians in the wider communities to consider what kind of formal models are available for analysing potential autonomic traffic systems. This will concern the role of such models in developing system specifications, and being used as abstract designs for building ARTS systems. Further, appropriate system models need to be derived to investigate the abstract properties for the analysis of ARTS developments. In systems with heterogeneous, distributed characteristics such as found in road transport systems, determining a system decomposition which enables autonomic behaviour is a central issue. The group will unite and focus the emerging community on examining the merits of centralised vs decentralised control, for example, the question of how to distribute a global highlevel system objective to be acted on in a co-ordinated way by a collection of autonomous subsystems.

In other words, how can objectives be dis-aggregated and distributed so that the global behaviour of the distributed system will achieve the overall objective? Related to this issue is the encoding of policies and objectives: sometimes objectives may be consistent or competitive, such as the trade-off between system and user objectives.

The WG will encourage research activities aimed at meeting these challenges, such as Institutional Robotics, where mildly hierarchical architectural elements are introduced into system architecture such as institutions or organisations (responsible for norm definition, enforcement and subsequent sanctioning, conflict resolution and goal reconciliation).
Embedding autonomy into a system requires building into the system the semantics of its own functions, so that it can have some measure of self-awareness. The idea of embedding meta-data within systems is now well established and is fundamental to the development of the semantic web and its associated service-oriented and semantic technologies, as well as the widespread use within the scientific community of ontology and supporting tools. Hence, a major theme within WG1 is how to harness service-oriented and semantic approaches to enable such behaviour as dynamic system configuration from primitive components. WG1 will encourage research into how current
ITS technologies can be “wrapped” into services that can be subject to automated assembly and control, in response to high level traffic policies. The benefits of this approach are that it hides the complexity of individual components (and makes them easier to maintain), while allowing new or changed high level policies to automatically deliver new and alternative mixes of control services.

WG2 Exploiting the results of previous research and technological development

Road transport research and development programmes, both at national, European and global level have led to major advances within ITS, with countries having their own national ITS research initiatives.
Currently a mix of infrastructure, such as signal control, ramp metering, route guidance, message signs, and variable speed limits is used to alleviate road congestion, but modern systems have been likened to “technological giants with a child’s brain”. This strand will foster the investigation of how best to integrate current technology and ITS research with ARTS. As an example, take the EU project E-Frame, which has eveloped an efficient, component-based method of capturing requirement specifications for ITS infrastructure (called an “ITS system architecture”). The extension of the E-Frame systems architecture to capture formally the semantics of the user requirements and system components as well as the structure and data flow (the current system capture), could well form the basis of an autonomic ITS system architecture.

Additionally, this strand will consider the findings of applying autonomic systems to similar problem areas, and exploit the results of previous research. For example, some progress has been made in applying autonomic principles to the control of data through networks, and control of power grids and energy management. Analogies and lessons learned from these areas will be transferred to ARTS. Thus the Working Group will focus on leading edge research from both autonomic systems and ITS, with group members acquiring a dual expertise, leading into deep insights that will contribute to WG1.

WG3 External Factors, Environmental Benefits and Application Scope

WG3 will focus on issues of system liability issues, and legal, institutional and political concerns, of potential ARTS systems. It will produce details of the quantification of benefits of ARTS infrastructure, and investigate the relationship between ARTS and traditional systems engineering approaches. Hence WG3 will be split into 3 sub-areas of study:
• WG3.1: external system characteristics, such as trust, reliability, robustness, security within ARTS systems; the wider implications of the introduction of self-managing systems with respect to national legal and regulatory frameworks for Transport, and EU legal frameworks.
For example, the relationship between ARTS and the 2010 European Directive on ITS needs to be carefully studied. Issues of liability need to be considered in the context of whether and in what way future ARTS systems might limit human intervention.
• WG3.2: the development of an objective argument for who will benefit from ARTS, and in what measure, and the specific benefits to the achievement of minimising adverse environmental impact. Achieving the goals set out by environmental policies within the context of a road network is a highly complex task. This strand will consider the opportunities and challenges in deploying autonomic behaviours, perhaps in conjunction with demand management or gating techniques, in order to provide a solution to solving environment goals, and in particular to minimise environmental impact.

• WG3.3: the potential scope of applications of ARTS, and the development of a hierarchy of application areas that are amenable to autonomic techniques. Some areas may be considered more naturally amenable to autonomic techniques, such as local and regional control centre planning support, and real time traffic control. Applications such as automated incident detection may be considered as more problematic, as human judgement may always be superior in determining causes for alarm. Other applications, and emerging technological and organisational ideas, such as cooperative and infrastructure systems, vehicle to vehicle enabled traffic support and demand management, need to be investigated from an ARTS standpoint.

WG4: Human Interaction and Human Factors

The era of personalised information systems for road users makes it necessary for road traffic support systems to take into account road user reactions, and anticipate road user adaptation to controls. Investigation of participatory and mixedinitiative systems, where a human operator is in the loop, will need to be investigated in WG4.
Wherever the interface occurs, it will be set at a high level: the owner sets out goals, policies or service levels that the system must follow, and the system translates these into its system functions resulting in a change of behaviour. Hence, where and how the Human is interacting with an autonomic system is a crucial issue. What kind of behavioural responses and issues will autonomic systems provoke? This is tied up with the issue of identifying the scope of potential application of autonomics: for example, do self-managing properties apply to all the controlling embedded software systems, or do they encompass the integrated hardware and software as well? How will ARTS contribute to the implementation of desired behavioural changes?

D.2 Scientific work plan, methods and means
The objectives and likely achievements of the WGs are as follows:

WG1: Architectures, Methods and Models for ARTS
1. To identify the major technological challenges of ARTS
2. To acquire demonstration systems to display the potential benefits of ARTS
3. To provide insights into appropriate platforms and methods for engineering ARTS systems
4. To investigate relevant abstract models for ARTS development and analysis
5. To make a contribution to relevant areas of the Road Map document

Download WG1 objectives and plenary slides

WG2: Exploiting the results of previous research and technological development
1. To lead community building activities
2. To distil lessons learned from previous pilot uses of autonomic systems
3. To connect up relevant university research and transport stakeholders
4. To make a contribution to relevant areas of the Road Map document

WG3: External Factors, Environmental Benefits and Application Scope
1. Identify and quantify the scope, nature and potential pay-off of ARTS
2. To evaluate ARTS potential for contributing to environmental goals
3. To produce a classification of the potential application scope of ARTS
4. To make a contribution to relevant areas of the Road Map document

WG4: Human Interaction and Human Factors
1. Identify the major socio-technological challenges of ARTS
2. To provide insights into likely human interfaces and ARTS-induced behaviour change
3. To make a contribution to relevant areas of the Road Map document
The Method adopted will be to take the Action through three overlapping phases – (a) building up and advertising the community, (b) sustaining the community and developing challenges and focuses, and (c) maturing the community.