• Stefano Mariani
    Stefano Mariani, 24/01/2019 10:45

    Paper ID: 529 Title: ViTALiSE: Virtual to Augmented Loop in Smart Environments

    • Review * 
    • Full Paper Recommendation: 4 
    • Relevance: 4 
    • Novelty: 7 
    • Significance: 4 
    • Readability: 6 

    -Technical Quality: 2 

    • Comments to Authors :

    Summary of the Paper ====================

    This paper deals with smart environments. The latter include objects, devices, processes and agents. The paper proposes a framework –named ViTALiSE- to integrate Human-Agent collectives (HAC) and Digital Twins (DTs). ViTALiSE provides a bidirectional coupling between the physical world and the virtual world. This coupling allows the designer to consider multi-party cooperation and simultaneous interaction with the physical and digital realms. The development of ViTALiSE requires concepts and techniques from different domains such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Internet of Things (IOT),.

    The paper gives an overview ViTALiSE. It then describes the three phases of the framework and targets applications: 1) Visualisation of the physical environment, 2) Extension of the virtual environment and 3) Augmentation of the physical world. Those three phases are repeated according to the objectives of human users in smart environments. The last part of paper describes all the required technologies and challenges in this context.

    Justification for the Scores ============================ The paper is well written and easy to read. It deals with an important issue – That of designing smart environments that combine virtual and physical realms. It gives a good picture of the next generation of smart environments and it highlights all the challenges of their developments. 

    The paper looks like a project that addresses very interesting issues. However, those issues require several researches and several years to be addressed. Each of the subsection of section 4 (Enabling Technologies & Challenges) could be developed and written in one or several papers. 

    Constructive Comments to Improve the Paper ================================== The authors should expand the sub-section Agents, MAS and Decision support. Indeed, there are several open issues in this kind of applications with human users in the loop such as self-organization problems, perception problems and adjustable autonomy. I recommend to focus one of those problems and propose a solution. Otherwise, the contribution cannot significant for AAMAS.

    Questions for Rebuttal ======================

    • Review * 
    • Full Paper Recommendation: 5 
    • Relevance: 5 
    • Novelty: 9 
    • Significance: 5 
    • Readability: 7 

    -Technical Quality: 5 

    • Comments to Authors :

    Summary of the Paper

    The paper presents a vision about the future of smart environments by integrating resources from the physical and the virtual worlds by adopting two existing and complementary concepts: Digital Twins and Human-Agent Collectives. The core of the vision is based on the engineering loop to enable the coupling of physical and digital worlds adaptively and dynamically. ====================

    Justification for the Scores

    Relevance: The paper presents an interesting idea about using agents to empower smart environments to serve as bidirectional interaction links between users and things represented both physically and digitally. Although interesting, the idea is not formalized yet and maybe could best fit the Blue Sky Ideas track of the conference.

    Novelty: The idea is innovative and proposes the use of several technologies to be enabled.

    Significance: I can foresee significant results on it, but it is still a promise. Nevertheless, the discussion about the issue is relevant for the EMAS community.

    Readability: Paper is well written and easily to be read. Nevertheless, the authors would avoid long sentences. A few typos were found: in the abstract: hw/sw instead of HW/SW sec 2: "associated to" instead of "associated with" (4th bullet) sec 4.2 3rd paragraph: fo instead of of sec 4.3 2nd paragraph: "associated to" instead of "associated with" ; "... surely and enabling factor..." instead of "... surely an enabling factor..." sec 4.6 last paragraph: "...acting in a virtual only environment moments ago..." instead of "...acting in a virtual environment only moments ago..."

    Technical Quality: Technical quality and soundness 5 The conceptual framework is presented by simply presenting a glossary of the terms used to define ViTALISE. In addition, it is presented a three-phases methodology to support the co-evolution concept: the engineering loop for enabling adaptive and dynamic coupling of digital and physical worlds. 


    Constructive Comments to Improve the Paper

    The paper presents a very interesting idea and the first steps towards its formalization. Given the very nature of the paper, it is my point of view that it should be submitted to the Blue Sky Ideas track instead of EMAS. Nevertheless, the discussion about it is of great importance for the EMAS community. The text has several sentences that are too long, beginning with the 1st one... readability could be improved if this was avoided. ==================================

    Questions for Rebuttal ======================

    • Review * 
    • Full Paper Recommendation: 4 
    • Relevance: 8 
    • Novelty: 8 
    • Significance: 2 
    • Readability: 6 

    -Technical Quality: 2 

    • Comments to Authors :

    Summary of the Paper ====================

    The paper presents ViTALiSE, a vision for the future of smart environments mixing real and virtual environments inspired by both the ideas of Human-Agent Collectives (which is an interesting approach to MAS) and Digital Twins (which again interesting). The main claim is that the combination of real and virtual environments, plus current technologies such as machine-learning based image processing, augmented reality, and so forth, will revolutionize the way humans interact with complex computational systems and the actual support that computational systems can give us. Section 4 of the paper then discusses many important techniques and technologies needed to support the great challenges of the proposed vision, such as computer vision, decision making, new approaches to human-computer interaction, the relations to serious games, data science, user modelling and so forth.

    Justification for the Scores ============================

    While the vision is very exciting, the paper is, as the authors explicitly say in the beginning and end of the paper, just a vision, perhaps already a "conceptual framework", but the paper does not show any concrete development already carried out towards this vision, and if any methodology, practical framework, or platform has been started to be developed towards that vision, there is certainly no evaluation already carried out and reported in the paper. Therefore, the paper does not work as a normal AAMAS paper (a full paper giving a technical contribution).

    Constructive Comments to Improve the Paper ==================================

    Perhaps the authors could have summarized the vision in 4 pages and submitted to Blue Skies instead, but unfortunately the paper is not suitable for the EMAS track as a full paper. Nevertheless, I strongly encourage the authors to continue working towards this vision. It's clear that this work will lead to many important contributions to appear in the EMAS track of future AAMAS conferences.

    Questions for Rebuttal ======================

    No specific question for Rebuttal


    • Metareview: 

     Summary of reviews ================

    All reviewers really appreciate the vision put forward in the paper. It's a brilliant position paper, but presently it has no technical contribution for a normal paper. It would also be unusual to have a position paper as an AAMAS extended abstract, but if that's possible this paper would definitely generate a fantastic one.

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