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This paper aims to address a fundamental problem related to the interaction of rule‐based autonomous agents in pervasive and intelligent environments. Some rules of…
This paper aims to address a fundamental problem related to the interaction of rule‐based autonomous agents in pervasive and intelligent environments. Some rules of behaviour can lead a multi‐agent system to display unwanted periodic behaviour, such as networked appliances cycling on and off.
The paper presents a framework called interaction networks (INs) as a tool to describe and analyse this phenomena. In support of this, and as an aid to the visualisation and understanding of the temporal evolution of agent states, a graphical multi‐dimensional model (MDM) is offered. An instability prevention system (INPRES) based in identifying and locking network nodes is described.
Both IN, MDM and INPRES enable system designers to identify and prevent cyclic instability. The effectiveness of the approach is evaluated using both simulated and physical implementations.
The problem of cyclic instability is strongly related to the number of cycles in the IN associated. It is postulated that high coupling and high number of cycles contributes to the system to self‐lock; however, more research is needed in this direction.
The MDM, interaction benchmark, IN theory, INPRES and intelligent locking offer a practical solution to the problem of cyclic behaviour.
Before this work there was no framework for analysing and eliminating the problem of cyclic instability in rule‐based multi‐agent systems.
Reports on survey‐behavioural research in a major and fundamental development ‐ the Questronic project based at the University of Sheffield (UK), and its first product…
Reports on survey‐behavioural research in a major and fundamental development ‐ the Questronic project based at the University of Sheffield (UK), and its first product, the Ferranti Market Research Terminal (MRT). States that the MRT is a battery‐operated, hand‐held data‐capture terminal and it is a replacement for the usual questionnaire necessity ‐ clipboard and pencil. Describes the MRT and its functions including keyboard and electronic storage, so aiding survey research, both economic and operational. Lists out the operations and benefits in detail enabling the user a fast, modern aid for use with questionnaires. Goes on to give further developing procedures and includes a contact address for further information regarding the importance of development MRT routines in survey research.
Describes the design and construction of TROWEL ‐ a test bed for experimental agricultural vehicles. The vehicle will be used to explore ways of increasing the…
Describes the design and construction of TROWEL ‐ a test bed for experimental agricultural vehicles. The vehicle will be used to explore ways of increasing the productivity of expensive agricultural mobile machinery by taking over some of the tasks of the operator, allowing him to drive faster or for longer; and by allowing a single operator to control several machines simultaneously. In some cases machines may be able to operate entirely autonomously without operator intervention.
Most automatic devices designed to control even moderately complex systems are based on feedback. The concept of feedback control is so intuitively straightforward that…
Most automatic devices designed to control even moderately complex systems are based on feedback. The concept of feedback control is so intuitively straightforward that many people assume it must be quite simple to combine such simple mechanisms to create relatively sophisticated automatic control systems. However, the reality is that to design a truly effective automatic controller is often the greatest challenge an engineer may face. A major cause of the difficulty is time lag, which means that the system is constantly trying to correct for conditions that existed earlier. Conventional control theory seems to work best when attempting to design control devices for a process that can be well approximated by a model with linear and otherwise straightforward relationships between just a few variables. However, for complex and non‐linear processes, where it is difficult (if not impossible) to develop a mathematical model for the system to be controlled, conventional control fails and the control is left to the human operator. Examples of such systems appear in process control industries such as cement industry, water treatment processes … etc. In addition, conventionally designed automatic control devices often have relatively narrow performance bands, as many types of real world processes and systems can be well approximated by linear models when variables are limited to narrow ranges. If a variable goes beyond this range then the system will become unstable and the control device may no longer be able to make appropriate adjustments. Until recently, certain types of processes were still controlled by human operators simply because it proved to be difficult to design an automatic control device by the conventional methods. This was not due to the lack of sensors or any other hardware problem, but simply because of non‐linearities or other complexities in the process.
Although many educators feel insecure about reporting suspected child maltreatment, educators are in a unique position to identify and, subsequently, intervene in such…
Although many educators feel insecure about reporting suspected child maltreatment, educators are in a unique position to identify and, subsequently, intervene in such cases. This is particularly true for those working in early childhood education settings, as the youngest children – those most vulnerable to the effects of maltreatment – are at the greatest risk for being victims of most types of maltreatment. Thus, early childhood educators should be familiar with child maltreatment and be prepared to act in these cases. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a general overview of child maltreatment. Definitions and prevalent issues will be discussed, and the potential effects of child maltreatment across a variety of domains, including cognitive, academic, social, and behavioral functioning, will be highlighted. Finally, the authors explore various responsibilities, such as mandated reporting and intervention and prevention activities, of early childhood educators.
Dual marketing, i.e. selling the same product to both consumers and business customers, calls for a rearrangement of companies’ organizational chart. New figures…
Dual marketing, i.e. selling the same product to both consumers and business customers, calls for a rearrangement of companies’ organizational chart. New figures, appointed with new roles, need to be integrated within the organization. In addition, dual marketers are required new skills by the market, having to learn to blend push and pull marketing techniques. This chapter discusses how the market's imperatives make the dual marketer an on-the-edge figure within the business landscape, able to constantly reinvent herself to keep pace with innovations.
The purpose of this paper is to inform the policies of sheltered housing providers with regard to preventing isolation amongst residents and generating practical support…
The purpose of this paper is to inform the policies of sheltered housing providers with regard to preventing isolation amongst residents and generating practical support between them, particularly in the current period of reduced funding for housing support.
The paper reports a postal survey of 120 residents across eight estates, focus groups on these and eight other estates and survey responses from 326 estate managers.
Childless residents are especially vulnerable to lack of support, depending on friends or on paid care. Those estates with a rich array of organised social activities generated more support and friendships amongst neighbours than those with few activities. Managers perform an important service in generating and supporting social activities, but their role is diminishing and restricted by short hours on site. Residents’ groups need capacity-building support to organise more by themselves. Cross-generational contacts are particularly valuable but residents need help to access them outside of their own families.
Certain forms of group activity which are the most valuable in terms of promoting mental stimulation and exercise are rarely organised by residents’ groups without staff support.
How to generate mutual aid between residents is an important objective for housing providers in a period of reduced funding for staff time and of severe constraints on social care budgets.
The equation of unified knowledge says that S = f (A,P) which means that the practical solution to a given problem is a function of the existing, empirical, actual…
The equation of unified knowledge says that S = f (A,P) which means that the practical solution to a given problem is a function of the existing, empirical, actual realities and the future, potential, best possible conditions of general stable equilibrium which both pure and practical reason, exhaustive in the Kantian sense, show as being within the realm of potential realities beyond any doubt. The first classical revolution in economic thinking, included in factor “P” of the equation, conceived the economic and financial problems in terms of a model of ideal conditions of stable equilibrium but neglected the full consideration of the existing, actual conditions. That is the main reason why, in the end, it failed. The second modern revolution, included in factor “A” of the equation, conceived the economic and financial problems in terms of the existing, actual conditions, usually in disequilibrium or unstable equilibrium (in case of stagnation) and neglected the sense of right direction expressed in factor “P” or the realization of general, stable equilibrium. That is the main reason why the modern revolution failed in the past and is failing in front of our eyes in the present. The equation of unified knowledge, perceived as a sui generis synthesis between classical and modern thinking has been applied rigorously and systematically in writing the enclosed American‐British economic, monetary, financial and social stabilization plans. In the final analysis, a new economic philosophy, based on a synthesis between classical and modern thinking, called here the new economics of unified knowledge, is applied to solve the malaise of the twentieth century which resulted from a confusion between thinking in terms of stable equilibrium on the one hand and disequilibrium or unstable equilibrium on the other.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief and partial overview of some of the issues and authors that have dominated British industrial relations research since…
The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief and partial overview of some of the issues and authors that have dominated British industrial relations research since 1965. It is cast in terms of that year being the astronomical Big Bang from which all else was created. It traces a spectacular growth in academic interest and departments throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and then comments on the petering out of the tradition and its very existence (Darlington, 2009; Smith, 2011).
There are no methods other than a biased look through the literature.
These show a liberal oppression of the Marxist interpretation of class struggle through trade unions, collective bargaining, strikes, and public policy. At first through the Cold War and later, less well because many Marxists survived and thrived in industrial relations departments until after 2000, through closing courses and choking off demand. This essay exposes the hypocrisy surrounding notions of academic freedom, and throws light on the determination of those in the labour movement and their academic allies to push forward wage controls and stunted bargaining regimes, alongside restrictions on strikes, in the name of moderation and the middle ground.
An attempt to correct the history as written by the pro tem victors.
This article outlines a model for gauging the quality of a partnership approach to research that was developed for use in a Research Centre in West Sweden. The Äldre Väst…
This article outlines a model for gauging the quality of a partnership approach to research that was developed for use in a Research Centre in West Sweden. The Äldre Väst Sjuhärad Centre has as its main goal the promotion of partnerships between older people and their families, service providers and researchers. In pursuing these goals the Centre adopts a broadly‐constructivist approach to undertaking research that is ‘authentic’ and meaningful to those who take part. In order to make judgements about the quality of its activity the Centre has adapted the authenticity criteria originally suggested by Guba and Lincoln (1989), so that they are more readily understood by older people, carers and service providers. These criteria can be applied at all stages of research activity, and it is suggested here that they can be utilised more widely in order to make inferences about the effects of partnership working in other contexts.