Munindar P. Singh's research while affiliated with North Carolina State University and other places

Publications (541)

Preprint
Norms help regulate a society. Norms may be explicit (represented in structured form) or implicit. We address the emergence of explicit norms by developing agents who provide and reason about explanations for norm violations in deciding sanctions and identifying alternative norms. These agents use a genetic algorithm to produce norms and reinforcem...
Conference Paper
Norms help regulate a society. Norms may be explicit (represented in structured form) or implicit. We address the emergence of explicit norms by developing agents who provide and reason about explanations for norm violations in deciding sanctions and identifying alternative norms. These agents use a genetic algorithm to produce norms and reinforcem...
Article
Multiagent systems provide a basis for developing systems of autonomous entities and thus find application in a variety of domains. We consider a setting where not only the member agents are adaptive but also the multiagent system viewed as an entity in its own right is adaptive. Specifically, the social structure of a multiagent system can be refl...
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We conceptualize a decentralized software application as one constituted from autonomous agents that communicate via asynchronous messaging. Modern software paradigms such as microservices and settings such as the Internet of Things evidence a growing interest in decentralized applications. Constructing a decentralized application involves designin...
Preprint
This paper focuses on a dynamic aspect of responsible autonomy, namely, to make intelligent agents be responsible at run time. That is, it considers settings where decision making by agents impinges upon the outcomes perceived by other agents. For an agent to act responsibly, it must accommodate the desires and other attitudes of its users and, thr...
Preprint
A protocol specifies interactions between roles, which together constitute a multiagent system (MAS). Enacting a protocol presupposes that agents are bound to the its roles. Existing protocol-based approaches, however, do not adequately treat the practical aspects of how roles bindings come about. Pippi addresses this problem of MAS instantiation....
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The study of autonomous agents has a long tradition in the Multiagent Systems and the Semantic Web communities, with applications ranging from automating business processes to personal assistants. More recently, the Web of Things (WoT), which is an extension of the Internet of Things (IoT) with metadata expressed in Web standards, and its community...
Article
There is increasing interplay between humans and artificial intelligent (AI) entities in online environments. With the growing autonomy and sophistication of these AI systems, the hybrid communities which are formed start to behave like the more-familiar, human-only social systems. This sets up the challenge to find systematic ways to ensure reliab...
Article
Defensive deception techniques have emerged as a promising proactive defense mechanism to mislead an attacker and thereby achieve attack failure. However, most game-theoretic defensive deception approaches have assumed that players maintain consistent views under uncertainty. They do not consider players’ possible, subjective beliefs formed due to...
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We understand sociotechnical systems (STSs) as uniting the social and technical tiers to provide abstractions for capturing how autonomous principals interact with each other. Accountability is a foundational concept in STSs and an essential component of achieving ethical outcomes. In simple terms, accountability involves identifying who can call w...
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The impacts of autonomous vehicles (AV) are widely anticipated to be socially, economically, and ethically significant. A reliable assessment of the harms and benefits of their large-scale deployment requires a multi-disciplinary approach. To that end, we employed Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis to make such an assessment. We obtained opinions fro...
Article
Defensive deception is a promising approach for cyber defense. Via defensive deception, a defender can anticipate and prevent attacks by misleading or luring an attacker, or hiding some of its resources. Although defensive deception is garnering increasing research attention, there has not been a systematic investigation of its key components, the...
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Geographical characteristics have been proven to be effective in improving the quality of point-of-interest (POI) recommendation. However, existing works on POI recommendation focus on cost (time or money) of travel for a user. An important geographical aspect that has not been studied adequately is the neighborhood effect , which captures a user’s...
Article
Specifying a normative multiagent system (nMAS) is challenging, because different agents often have conflicting requirements. Whereas existing approaches can resolve clear-cut conflicts, tradeoffs might occur in practice among alternative nMAS specifications with no apparent resolution. To produce an nMAS specification that is acceptable to each ag...
Conference Paper
A flexible communication protocol is necessary to build a decentralized multiagent system whose member agents are not coupled to each other's decision making. Information-based protocol languages capture a protocol in terms of causality and integrity constraints based on the information exchanged by the agents. Thus, they enable highly flexible ena...
Article
Current computational models are inadequate for the purposes of modeling interactions between autonomous parties in a way that highlights and supports their accountability. We propose a new conceptual model for business contracts based on norms motivated by a review of real-life business contracts. Our conception is of a gray box, reflecting the id...
Article
We introduce and formalize a concept of a maintenance commitment, a kind of social commitment characterized by states whose truthhood an agent commits to maintain. This concept of maintenance commitments enables us to capture a richer variety of real-world scenarios than possible using achievement commitments with a temporal condition. By developin...
Article
Current blockchain approaches for business contracts are based on smart contracts, namely, software programs placed on a blockchain that are automatically executed to realize a contract. However, smart contracts lack flexibility and interfere with the autonomy of the parties concerned. We propose Hercule, an approach for declaratively specifying bl...
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We present Bungie, an approach based on applicationlevel protocols that precisely capture the causality inherent to the interactions among agents. We show through patterns and examples how Bungie provides abstractions for achieving fault tolerance.
Preprint
Social norms characterize collective and acceptable group conducts in human society. Furthermore, some social norms emerge from interactions of agents or humans. To achieve agent autonomy and make norm satisfaction explainable, we include emotions into the normative reasoning process, which evaluate whether to comply or violate a norm. Specifically...
Preprint
Current blockchain approaches for business contracts are based on smart contracts, namely, software programs placed on a blockchain that are automatically executed to realize a contract. However, smart contracts lack flexibility and interfere with the autonomy of the parties concerned. We propose Hercule, an approach for declaratively specifying bl...
Article
Changes in the framing of topical news are known to foreshadow significant public, legislative, and commercial events. Automated detection of framing changes is, therefore, an important problem, which existing research has not considered. Previous approaches are manual surveys that rely on human effort and are consequently limited in scope. This ar...
Article
Artificial intelligence (AI), which increasingly fuels Internet applications, has huge implications on the lives of ordinary people. This article examines explanations for AI decision-making as it concerns end users through the lens of humans rights.
Preprint
The expansion of artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous systems has shown the potential to generate enormous social good while also raising serious ethical and safety concerns. AI technology is increasingly adopted in transportation. A survey of various in-vehicle technologies found that approximately 64% of the respondents used a smartphone a...
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Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) raise important social and ethical concerns, especially about accountability, dignity, and justice. We focus on the specific concerns arising from how AV technology will affect the lives and livelihoods of professional and semi-professional drivers. Whereas previous studies of such concerns have focused on the opinions of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Defensive deception is a promising approach for cyberdefense. Although defensive deception is increasingly popular in the research community, there has not been a systematic investigation of its key components, the underlying principles, and its tradeoffs in various problem settings. This survey paper focuses on defensive deception research centere...
Preprint
Defensive deception techniques have emerged as a promising proactive defense mechanism to mislead an attacker and thereby achieve attack failure. However, most game-theoretic defensive deception approaches have assumed that players maintain consistent views under uncertainty. They do not consider players' possible, subjective beliefs formed due to...
Preprint
Multiagent systems provide a basis of developing systems of autonomous entities and thus find application in a variety of domains. We consider a setting where not only the member agents are adaptive but also the multiagent system itself is adaptive. Specifically, the social structure of a multiagent system can be reflected in the social norms among...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Commitments and requests are a hallmark of collaborative communication, especially in organizational settings. Identifying specific tasks being committed to or requests from emails and chat messages can enable important downstream tasks, such as producing to-do lists, reminders, and calendar entries. State-of-the-art approaches for task identificat...
Article
Communication protocols are central to engineering decentralized multiagent systems. Modern protocol languages are typically formal and address aspects of decentralization, such as asynchrony. However, modern languages differ in important ways in their basic abstractions and operational assumptions. This diversity makes a comparative evaluation of...
Article
Current programming models for developing Internet of Things (IoT) applications are logically centralized and ill-suited for most IoT applications. We contribute Protocols over Things, a decentralized programming model that represents an IoT application via a protocol between the parties involved and provides improved performance over network-level...
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Sentiments in opinionated text are often determined by both aspects and target words (or targets). We observe that targets and aspects interrelate in subtle ways, often yielding conflicting sentiments. Thus, a naive aggregation of sentiments from aspects and targets treated separately, as in existing sentiment analysis models, impairs performance....
Preprint
Full-text available
Changes in the framing of topical news have been shown to foreshadow significant public, legislative, and commercial events. Automated detection of framing changes is therefore an important problem, which existing research has not considered. Previous approaches are manual surveys, which rely on human effort and are consequently limited in scope. W...
Article
This article approaches ride sharing from the perspectives of equity and sustainability. A lack of transportation access exacerbates the challenges faced by transportation-disadvantaged individuals and communities, reducing opportunities for employment and civic engagement. This article presents a vision for public microtransit geared toward addres...
Preprint
Historically, enterprise network reconnaissance is an active process, often involving port scanning. However, as routers and switches become more complex, they also become more susceptible to compromise. From this vantage point, an attacker can passively identify high-value hosts such as the workstations of IT administrators, C-suite executives, an...
Article
This article introduces some of the key concepts and challenges pertaining to ethics from the standpoint of Internet applications.
Article
Engineering a decentralized multiagent system (MAS) requires realizing interactions modeled as a communication protocol between autonomous agents. We contribute Clouseau, an approach that takes a commitment-based specification of an interaction and generates a communication protocol amenable to decentralized enactment. We show that the generated pr...
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Many cybersecurity breaches occur due to users not following good cybersecurity practices, chief among them being regulations for applying software patches to operating systems, updating applications, and maintaining strong passwords. We capture cybersecurity expectations on users as norms. We empirically investigate sanctioning mechanisms in promo...
Preprint
Enterprises are increasingly concerned about adversaries that slowly and deliberately exploit resources over the course of months or even years. A key step in this kill chain is network reconnaissance, which has historically been active (e.g., network scans) and therefore detectable. However, new networking technology increases the possibility of p...
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Context Modern software systems are deployed in sociotechnical settings, combining social entities (humans and organizations) with technical entities (software and devices). In such settings, on top of technical controls that implement security features of software, regulations specify how users should behave in security-critical situations. No mat...
Article
We propose a sociotechnical, yet computational, approach to building decentralized applications that accommodates and exploits blockchain technology. Our architecture incorporates the notion of a declarative, violable contract and enables flexible governance based on formal organizational structures, correctness verification without obstructing aut...
Article
We address the problem of engineering a sociotechnical system (STS) with respect to its stakeholders’ requirements. We motivate a two-tier STS conception composed of a technical tier that provides control mechanisms and describes what actions are allowed by the software components, and a social tier that characterizes the stakeholders’ expectations...
Preprint
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Opinionated text often involves attributes such as authorship and location that influence the sentiments expressed for different aspects. We posit that structural and semantic correspondence is both prevalent in opinionated text, especially when associated with attributes, and crucial in accurately revealing its latent aspect and sentiment structur...
Conference Paper
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We study how emotions influence norm outcomes in decision-making contexts. Following the literature , we provide baseline Dynamic Bayesian models to capture an agent's two perspectives on a directed norm. Unlike the literature, these models are holistic in that they incorporate not only norm outcomes and emotions but also trust and goals. We obtain...
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News has been shown to influence public perception, affect technology development, and increase public expression. We demonstrate that framing, a subjective aspect of news, appears to influence both significant public perception changes and federal legislation. We show that specific features of news, such as publishing volume, appear to influence s...
Article
Commitments capture how an agent relates to another agent, whereas goals describe states of the world that an agent is motivated to bring about. Commitments are elements of the social state of a set of agents whereas goals are elements of the private states of individual agents. It makes intuitive sense that goals and commitments are understood as...
Preprint
Important Web applications are social machines in that they they involve interoperation among autonomous parties through the Web. We particularly focus on decentralized social machines that reflect the autonomy of their participants in infrastructure that avoids a central provider or authority. A social machine can be effectively specified via an i...
Conference Paper
Advances in AI techniques and computing platforms have triggered a lively and expanding discourse on ethical decision making by autonomous agents. Much recent work in AI concentrates on the challenges of moral decision making from a decision-theoretic perspective, and especially the representation of various ethical dilemmas. Such approaches may be...
Article
Crowdsourcing is the process of accomplishing a task by using a typically open call to invite members of the public (the "crowd") to work on one's task. The authors describe a project assignment in which students received the opportunity of practicing crowdsourcing to accomplish a hummed song recognition task, yielding improved comprehension of the...
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The increasing popularity of chatbots as virtual assistants has lead to many organizations releasing If-This-Then-That frameworks to engineer such chatbots. However, these frameworks often result in inflexible and difficult-to-maintain chatbots. This paper outlines a high-level conceptual framework for realizing flexible chatbots founded upon age...
Conference Paper
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We propose Limbic, an unsupervised probabilistic model that addresses the problem of discovering aspects and sentiments and associating them with authors of opinionated texts. Limbic combines three ideas, incorporating authors, discourse relations, and word embeddings. For discourse relations, Limbic adopts a generative process regularized by a Mar...
Chapter
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This chapter provides a brief history of the field of normative multiagent systems, including highlights of the main intellectual themes in this field; how those themes have played out over the years; a summary of some major challenges and how well those challenges have been addressed; and some promising directions for future research. Human Intera...
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Users often share information about others and may inadvertently violate their privacy. We propose SoSharP, an agent-based approach to help users maintain their own and others privacy by guiding selection of sharing policies in multiuser scenarios. SoSharP reduces user effort by incrementally learning from user recommendations and asking for user i...
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This article addresses the challenge of planning coordinated activities for a set of autonomous agents, who coordinate according to social commitments among themselves. We develop a multi-agent plan in the form of a commitment protocol that allows the agents to coordinate in a flexible manner, retaining their autonomy in terms of the goals they ado...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Norms describe the social architecture of a society and govern the interactions of its member agents. It may be appropriate for an agent to deviate from a norm; the deviation being indicative of a specialized norm applying under a specific context. Existing approaches for norm emergence assume simplified interactions wherein deviations are negative...
Article
Security tools, including static and dynamic analysis tools, can guide software developers to identify and fix potential vulnerabilities in their code. However, the use of security tools is not common among developers. The goal of this research is to develop a framework for modeling the adoption of security practices in software development and to...
Conference Paper
We propose and evaluate an information extraction and analysis framework that combines human intelligent (crowdsourcing) with automated methods to produce improved security and privacy requirements incorporating knowledge from post-deployment artifacts such as breach reports.
Conference Paper
We address the problem of designing privacy-preserving ethical personal agents that understand and act according to their users' preferred values and ethical principles, and provide a satisfying social experience to all their stakeholders.
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The authors consider the problem of engineering ethical personal agents. Such an agent would understand the applicable social norms and its users preferences among values. It would act or recommend actions that promote preferred values, especially, in scenarios where the norms conflict.
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News has traditionally been well researched, with studies ranging from sentiment analysis to event detection and topic tracking. We extend the focus to two surprisingly under-researched aspects of news: \emph{framing} and \emph{predictive utility}. We demonstrate that framing influences public opinion and behavior, and present a simple entropic alg...