Agents in Space

- Challenges for Collaboration, Control, and Verification

A one-day symposium held at the University of Liverpool on 20th July 2005

Supported by:

Liverpool Verification Laboratory [University of Liverpool]
Flight Science & Technology Research Group [University of Liverpool]
Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science (RIACS) & NASA
SciSys Ltd.

Symposium co-chairs:

Michael Fisher (University of Liverpool, U.K.)
Roger Ward (SciSys Ltd, U.K.)



With the development of deep space and planetary exploration, the need for spacecraft software to be able to act autonomously is increasing. Such autonomy is often naturally captured by the notion of an agent. However, with the use of autonomous agents in safety and mission critical scenarios come several challenges. This symposium concerned three of these, namely: how to control autonomous agents; how to organise effective collaboration between humans and agents; and how to verify the behaviour of autonomous agents. The symposium brought together some of the leading experts in agents, autonomy in space and formal verification, with the aim of stimulating further developments in this exciting area.


10:00-10:10 Welcome and Introduction [Michael Fisher/Roger Ward]

10:10-11:00 Maarten Sierhuis (RIACS/NASA Ames Research Center, U.S.A.) - Human and Robot Teamwork on Mars or Moon [Abstract, Presentation]

11:00-11:15 BREAK

11:15-11:50 Mark Woods (SciSys Ltd, U.K.) - Autonomy for Aurora's Mars Missions [Abstract, Presentation]

11:50-12:25 Tim Clarke, Peter Mendham (University of York, U.K.) - The Skylon Spaceplane - a Motivation for Agents in Space [Abstract, Presentation]

12:25-13:00 Sandor Veres (Southampton University, U.K.) - Agent-Based Satellite Formation Flying [Abstract, Presentation]

13:00-13:40 LUNCH

13:40-14:30 Willem Visser (RIACS/NASA Ames Research Center, U.S.A.) - Verifying Aerospace Software [Abstract, Presentation]

14:30-15:05 Antonios Tsourdos (Cranfield University, U.K.) - Verifying UAV Path Planning [Abstract, Presentation]

15:05-15:40 Rafael Bordini (University of Durham, U.K.) - Verifying Autonomous Agents [Abstract, Presentation]

15:40-16:00 DISCUSSION

16:00 CLOSE

Press Release