Foto del docente

Alessandro Ricci

Associate Professor

Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Academic discipline: ING-INF/05 Information Processing Systems

Curriculum vitae

General information             

Alessandro Ricci is a researcher at DISI (Department of Computer Science and Engineering), University of Bologna.                   

He has been working in the research group called “aliCE” lead by Andrea Omicini since 2001 ( ). He got his researcher position in October 2006. He got a PhD in Computer Science Engineering in 2004, with a thesis titled "Engineering Agent Societies with Coordination Artifacts and Related Infrastructures". He graduated at the Computer Science Engineering faculty of the University of Bologna in March 2000, with a thesis titled ”Modelli ed Infrastrutture di Coordinazione per l'Ingegneria dei Sistemi Software” (Coordination Models and Infrastructures for the engineering of Software Systems”).

Besides doing research, Alessandro has been teaching in Computer Science and Engineering courses at the University of Bologna since 2003. Recent courses include:

  • Programming paradigms (2013)

  • Concurrent and Distributed Programming (2006-2012)

  • Operating Systems (2005-2012)

Research activities

The research background context of Alessandro's activities concerns agents and multi-agent systems as a paradigm for modelling and developing complex software systems and - more recently - the investigation of agent-orientation as  a programming paradigm for concurrent and distributed systems.

In that context, a selection of the main contributions includes (chronologically):

  • the introduction of the coordination artifact abstraction for the coordination, as a foundation to frame mediated coordination mechanisms and models in the context of multi-agent systems

  • the generalization of coordination artifacts into the artifact abstraction and the definition of the A&A (Agents and Artifacts) conceptual model, framing environments as first-class abstractions to model and design MAS, taking as inspiring references human organizations and human cooperative work, as conceived by Activity Theory and Distributed Cognition

  • the introduction of the notion of cognitive stigmergy , exploring the stigmergic coordination of intelligent cognitive agents exploiting shared artifact-based environments.

  • a model and platform called CArtAgO for designing, implementing and running  artifact-based environments, to be integrated with existing agent platforms

  • the investigation of multi-agent programming model and technologies integrating intelligent BDI-based agent programming languages with artifact-based environments. This leads to the development of the JaCa model/platform - integrating the Jason agent programming language and CArtAgO - and the JaCaMo model/platform - integrating also the organizational dimension as supported by the Moise organization model and technology.

These contributions on multi-agent programming have been developed in cooperation with  Rafael Bordini, Olivier Boissier and Jomi Hubner. These results have been used to run  tutorials held at the European Agent Systems Summer School  (EASSS)

More recently (last 2 years), the research effort focussed on general-purpose programming paradigms for designing and programming concurrent, distributed and reactive software systems. In this context, the specific contribution concerns the definition and investigation of agent-oriented programming as a high-level evolution of programming paradigms based on actors and concurrent objects. The first results of these activities are given by the definition of an agent-oriented programming model and an experimental language and platform called simpAL, which is a conceptual  evolution of  a former Java-based framework called simpA. The application domains that are used to evaluate these agent-based technologies include mobile computing, web apps and robot programming.

This activity lead also to the organization of the AGERE! workshop held in 2011, 2012 and 2013 in the context of the SPLASH conference (which includes OOPSLA and OnWard!), in cooperation with Gul Agha, Rafael Bordini and Assaf Marron (2011, 2012), Akinori Yonezawa, Nadeem Jamali and Gera Weiss (2013).  AGERE! aims at being a première international forum  to explore any aspect concerning the science and the practice of programming software systems using agents, actors and any programming paradigm promoting a decentralized-control mindset in solving problems and developing software.

The ALOO language is a latest evolution of this work, integrating agent-oriented programming and object-oriented programming into a single computational/ programming model, targeted to Concurrent OOP.