Federated Collaborative Networks

The Federated Collaborative Networks (FCN) is a research group led by Prof. Dr. Hamideh Afsarmanesh at the Informatics Institute of the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam. The group is established in 1990, and was formerly called COLNET.


Today’s society has a socio-technical structure, operated by systems that primarily consist of collectives of heterogeneous technical components and autonomous actors. To compete and survive, these collectives engage their components in flexible evolving networks wherein they function and collaborate toward achieving their common goals. Units such as individuals, organizations, and intelligent devices constitute the actors in such Collaborative Adaptive Systems (CAS), which may involve different temporal and spatial scales. Typically the boundaries of a CAS are fluid, though in specific cases a CAS may involve only tightly-tangled nodes and may choose to operate as a closed-border network. Furthermore, the life time of a CAS relies on achieving its common goals, and thus while CASs are usually temporary, in certain cases they may become permanent.
Our mission is to develop high-level models to study collaborative interactions within distributed CAS. We address design, development, and operating principles of CAS, with challenges including collaboration process definition based on competencies, reference modeling and analysis, engineering agent and collective behavior based on exchanged commitments and agreements, data/service composition infrastructures, intelligent decision support, and consensus on common perceptions for valuation and reward/sanction.

Research at the FCN group is strategically concentrated on the following four themes:

  1. Formalization and analysis of CNs and their reference modeling,
  2. Information/knowledge fusion and interoperability,
  3. Service digitization/integration frameworks, and
  4. Algorithms for learning and decision support in CNs.

FCN group 2013