School of Informatics

7th June 2013: Prof Nick Jennings, University of Southampton

Restructuring electricity grids to meet the increased demand of electric vehicles and heat pumps, while making greater use of intermittent renewable energy sources, represents one of the greatest engineering challenges of our day. This modern electricity grid, in which both electricity and information flow in two directions between large numbers of widely distributed suppliers and generators - commonly termed the 'smart grid' - represents a radical re-engineering of infrastructure which has changed little over the last hundred years. However, the autonomous behaviour expected of the smart grid, its highly distributed nature, and the existence of multiple stakeholders each with their own incentives and interests, challenges existing engineering approaches. In this talk, I will describe why I believe that autonomous agents and multi-agent systems are essential for delivering the smart grid as it is envisioned. I will present some recent work that has been done in this area, and describe many challenges that still remain.

Title: Putting the Smarts in the Smart Grid




Professor Jennings divides his time between his posts as a Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government and Professor of Computer Science in the School of Electronics and Computer Science at Southampton University, where he heads the Agents, Interaction and Complexity Group. Nick is an internationally-recognised authority in the areas of agent-based computing and intelligent systems. His research covers both the science and the engineering of such systems. Specifically, he has undertaken fundamental research on automated bargaining, auctions, mechanism design, trust and reputation, coalition formation and decentralised control. He has also pioneered the application of multi-agent technology; developing some of the first real-world systems (in domains such as business process management, energy systems/smart grid, sensor networks, disaster response, telecommunications, and eDefence) and generally advocating the area of agent-oriented software engineering.

Putting the Smarts in the Smart Grid: Prof Nick Jennings Friday 7 June 2013, 5.00pm Room G.07, School of Informatics, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AB


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