An interaction-centric approach to support peer coordination in distributed emergency response management

Maurizio Marchese, Lorenzino Vaccari, Gaia Trecarichi, Nardine Osman, Fiona McNeill, Paolo Besana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Modern information systems are required to operate in distributed and dynamic environments. In such open settings, coordination technologies play a crucial role in the design of flexible software systems. Research efforts in different areas are converging to devise suitable mechanisms for process and peer coordination: in particular, current results on service-oriented computing and multi-agent systems are being integrated to support dynamic decision-making processes among autonomous components in large, open systems. This paper addresses how agent technologies can be designed, applied, and eventually integrated with standard technologies, in order to build more robust and intelligent systems. The focus of our research is on the engineering, exploitation and evaluation of an agent protocol language in realistic contexts. In particular, a specific executable protocol language is adopted to specify simulated interactions among distributed processes which will be tested in emergency response domain activities (that we will refer to hereafter as e-Response activities), chosen as an example of knowledge-intensive and dynamic application domain where intelligent decision making is crucial. We present a novel approach based on shared protocols models distributed through a peer-to-peer infrastructure and we show how it can be applied in the context of crisis management to support coalition formation and process coordination in open environments. Specifically, a prototype e-Response simulation system – built on a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) infrastructure – has been developed to execute interaction models describing common coordination tasks in the emergency response domain. Preliminary evaluation of the proposed framework demonstrates its capability to support such e-Response tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-34
Number of pages16
JournalIntelligent Decision Technologies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2009


  • Interaction modeling
  • P2P networks
  • agent technology for distributed decision making
  • process coordination
  • knowledge sharing
  • dynamic environments
  • crisis management
  • emergencies simulation


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