The University of Southampton
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ss2@ecs.soton.ac.uk

Dr Sebastian Stein

Academic Staff

Sebastian is a lecturer (assistant professor) within the Agents, Interaction and Complexity research group, which is part of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. He completed his PhD in Multi-Agent Systems at Southampton in 2008 and holds an MEng in Computer Science from the University of Warwick. Sebastian is a deputy director of the faculty graduate school, represents his research group on the faculty ethics committee, and he is currently module leader for COMP3208 (Social Computing Techniques) and COMP1206 (Programming II).

Research

Research interests

Sebastian works in the area of artificial intelligence and in particular multi-agent systems. He is interested in highly dynamic, heterogeneous systems where multiple self-interested actors (including intelligent software agents and human users) come together, interact and possibly pursue conflicting objectives. To deal with these challenging settings, Sebastian's research focuses on a range of techniques:

  • Mechanism Design and Incentive Engineering: This looks allocation and payment mechanisms that incentivise desirable behaviours despite the presence of self-interested agents.
  • Sequential Decision Making with Uncertainty: This considers dynamic settings with potentially incomplete information and high uncertainty, where an autonomous agent needs to choose actions sequentially to maximise some objective.

Sebastian is passionate about applying these techniques to a range of important application areas and key societal challenges, including:

  • Smart Mobility: Artificial intelligence holds promise to revolutionise the way we travel. Sebastian is interested in applying incentive engineering to design efficient smart mobility systems that allow citizens to complete journeys seamlessly and on-demand, using more sustainable forms of transport rather than the currently prevalent model of widespread vehicle ownership.
  • Electric Vehicle Charging: Electric vehicles, when coupled with renewable electricity generation, are key to reducing carbon emissions from transportation. However, widespread use will likely cause considerable strains on the electricity distribution networks. Sebastian has applied mechanism design to this setting to enable smart charging schemes that allocate electricity efficiently within constrained settings.
  • Crowdsourcing: Increasingly, people and intelligent algorithms work together to solve complex problems, ranging from coordinated crowdsensing activities during disasters to large citizen science efforts. Sebastian is using machine learning and sequential decision-making approaches to deal with the uncertain and noisy data provided by human contributors.
  • Cloud Computing: Running computationally intensive analytics tasks is challenging in settings where resources are constrained and uncertain, e.g., during disaster response operations, in IoT networks or in edge clouds. Sebastian is interested in applying techniques from game theory to model how multiple self-interested actors can share these resources and how AI techniques can be used to deal proactively with uncertainty.

Projects

Professional

Qualifications

  • 2008: PhD, Computer Science, University of Southampton, UK 
  • 2004: MEng, Computer Science, University of Warwick, UK
  • 2000: European Baccalaureate, European School Culham, UK

Duties

  • Deputy Director of FPSE Grad School
  • AIC Representative on FPSE Ethics Committee

Publications

Stein, Sebastian, Jennings, N. R. and Payne, Terry R. (2006) Flexible Provisioning of Service Workflows At 17th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI-06), Italy. 28 Aug - 01 Sep 2006. , pp. 295-299.

Stein, Sebastian, Payne, Terry R. and Jennings, N. R. (2006) Flexible Provisioning of Semantic Web Service Workflows using a QoS Ontology At International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC). 05 - 09 Nov 2006.

Stein, Sebastian, Jennings, N. R. and Payne, Terry R., (2006) Flexible Provisioning of Service Workflows (Extended Abstract) Dunin-Kęplicz, Barbara, Omicini, Andrea and Padget, Julian (eds.) At Fourth European Workshop on Multi-Agent Systems, Portugal.

Stein, Sebastian, Jennings, N. R. and Payne, Terry R. (2007) Provisioning Heterogeneous and Unreliable Providers for Service Workflows At 6th International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-agent Systems (AAMAS-07), United States. 14 - 18 May 2007. , pp. 523-525.

Stein, Sebastian, Payne, Terry R. and Jennings, N. R. (2007) Sensitivity Analysis of Flexible Provisioning s.n.

Stein, Sebastian, Payne, Terry R. and Jennings, N. R., (2007) An Effective Strategy for the Flexible Provisioning of Service Workflows Huang, Jingshan, Kowalczyk, Ryszard, Maamar, Zakaria, Martin, David, Mueller, Ingo, Stoutenburg, Suzette and Sycara, Katia (eds.) At The Workshop on Service-Oriented Computing: Agents, Semantics, and Engineering (SOCASE 2007), United States. , pp. 16-30.

Stein, Sebastian, Jennings, N. R. and Payne, Terry R. (2007) Provisioning Heterogeneous and Unreliable Providers for Service Workflows At Twenty-Second AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Canada. 22 - 26 Jul 2007. , pp. 1452-1458.

Stein, Sebastian, Payne, Terry R. and Jennings, N.R. (2009) Flexible provisioning of Web service workflows ACM Transactions on Internet Technology, 9, (1), 2:1-2:45.

Stein, Sebastian, Jennings, N. R. and Payne, Terry (2008) Flexible Service Provisioning with Advance Agreements At Seventh International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS-08), Portugal. 12 - 16 May 2008. , pp. 249-256.

Stein, Sebastian (2008) Flexible Service Provisioning in Multi-Agent Systems University of Southampton, School of Electronics and Computer Science, Doctoral Thesis .

Stein, Sebastian, Payne, Terry R. and Jennings, Nicholas R. (2008) Flexible QoS-Based Service Selection and Provisioning in Large-Scale Grids At UK e-Science 2008 All Hands Meeting (AHM), HPC Grids of Continental Scope. 08 - 11 Sep 2008.

Stein, Sebastian, Payne, Terry R. and Jennings, Nicholas R. (2009) Flexible selection of heterogeneous and unreliable services in large-scale grids [in special issue: ‘Crossing boundaries: computational science, e-Science and global e-Infrastructure I. Selected papers from the UK e-Science All Hands Meeting 2008’ compiled by P. V. Coveney and M. P. Atkinson] Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A, 367, (1897), pp. 2483-2494.

Stein, Sebastian, Gerding, Enrico, Rogers, Alex C., Larson, Kate and Jennings, Nicholas R. (2009) Flexible Procurement of Services with Uncertain Durations At Second International Workshop on Optimisation in Multi-Agent Systems (OptMas), Hungary.

Stein, Sebastian, Gerding, Enrico, Rogers, Alex, Larson, Kate and Jennings, Nicholas R. (2009) Flexible Procurement of Services with Uncertain Durations using Redundancy At Twenty-First International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-09), United States. 11 - 17 Jul 2009. , pp. 292-298.

Gerding, Enrico, Stein, Sebastian, Larson, Kate, Rogers, Alex and Jennings, Nicholas R. (2010) Scalable Mechanism Design for the Procurement of Services with Uncertain Durations At The Ninth International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2010), Canada. 10 - 14 May 2010. , pp. 649-656.

Stein, Sebastian, Payne, Terry and Jennings, Nick (2011) Robust execution of service workflows using redundancy and advance reservations IEEE Transactions on Services Computing, 4, (2), pp. 125-139.

Stein, Sebastian, Gerding, Enrico and Jennings, Nick (2010) Optimal Task Migration in Service-Oriented Systems: Algorithms and Mechanisms At 19th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI), Portugal. , pp. 73-78.

Gerding, Enrico H., Robu, Valentin, Stein, Sebastian, Parkes, David C., Rogers, Alex and Jennings, Nicholas R. (2011) Online mechanism design for electric vehicle charging At Tenth International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS 2011), Taipei. 02 - 06 May 2011. , pp. 811-818.

Robu, Valentin, Stein, Sebastian, Gerding, Enrico, Parkes, David, Rogers, Alex and Jennings, Nick (2012) An Online Mechanism for Multi-Speed Electric Vehicle Charging At Second International Conference on Auctions, Market Mechanisms and Their Applications (AMMA'11), United States. 22 - 23 Aug 2011. 13 pp, pp. 100-112.

Stein, Sebastian, Gerding, Enrico, Rogers, Alex, Larson, Kate and Jennings, Nick (2011) Algorithms and mechanisms for procuring services with uncertain durations using redundancy Artificial Intelligence, 175, (14-15), pp. 2021-2060.

Stein, Sebastian, Gerding, Enrico, Robu, Valentin and Jennings, Nick (2012) A model-based online mechanism with pre-commitment and its application to electric vehicle charging At Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS 2012)), Spain. 04 - 08 Jun 2012. , pp. 669-676.

Stein, Sebastian, Williamson, Simon and Jennings, Nick (2012) Decentralised channel allocation and information sharing for teams of cooperative agents At Proc. 11th Int. Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS), Spain. , pp. 231-238.

Tran-Thanh, Long, Stein, Sebastian, Rogers, Alex and Jennings, Nicholas R. (2012) Efficient crowdsourcing of unknown experts using multi-armed bandits At 20th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI 2012), France. 27 - 31 Aug 2012. , pp. 768-773.

McInerney, J., Stein, S., Rogers, A. and Jennings, N R (2012) Exploring periods of low predictability in daily life mobility At Mobile Data Challenge by Nokia, United Kingdom. 18 Jun 2012. 6 pp.

Vetsikas, Ioannis A., Stein, Sebastian and Jennings, Nicholas R. (2012) Multi-unit auctions with a stochastic number of asymmetric bidders At 20th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI 2012), France. 27 - 31 Aug 2012. 6 pp, pp. 816-821.

Gerding, Enrico, Stein, Sebastian, Robu, Valentin, Zhao, Dengji and Jennings, Nicholas R. (2013) Two-sided online markets for electric vehicle charging At Proc. 12th Int. Conf on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems. , pp. 989-996.

de Weerdt, Mathijs M., Gerding, Enrico, Stein, Sebastian, Robu, Valentin and Jennings, Nicholas R. (2013) Intention-aware routing to minimise delays at electric vehicle charging stations At Proc. 23rd Int. Joint Conf. on AI (IJCAI). , pp. 83-89.

McInerney, J., Stein, S., Rogers, A and Jennings, N. R. (2013) Breaking the habit: measuring and predicting departures from routine in individual human mobility Pervasive and Mobile Computing, 9, (6), pp. 808-822.

Robu, Valentin, Gerding, Enrico H., Stein, Sebastian, Parkes, David C., Rogers, Alex and Jennings, Nicholas R. (2013) An Online Mechanism for Multi-Unit Demand and its Application to Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Charging Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 48, pp. 175-230.

Ströhle, Philipp, Gerding, Enrico, de Weerdt, Mathijs, Stein, Sebastian and Robu, Valentin (2014) Online Mechanism Design for Scheduling Non-Preemptive Jobs under Uncertain Supply and Demand At 13th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, France. , pp. 437-444.

Tran-Thanh, Long, Stein, Sebastian and Rogers, Alex et al. (2014) Efficient crowdsourcing of unknown experts using bounded multi-armed bandits Artificial Intelligence, 214, pp. 89-111.

Naroditskiy, Victor, Stein, Sebastian, Tonin, Mirco, Tran-Thanh, Long, Vlassopoulos, Michael and Jennings, N.R. (2014) Referral incentives in crowdfunding At HCOMP2014: Conference on Human Computation & Crowdsourcing, United States. 02 - 04 Nov 2014. , pp. 171-183.

Zenonos, Alexandros, Stein, Sebastian and Jennings, N. R. (2015) Coordinating measurements for air pollution monitoring in participatory sensing settings At 14th Int. Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, Turkey. 04 - 08 May 2015. , pp. 493-501.

Salisbury, Elliot, Stein, Sebastian and Ramchurn, Sarvapali (2015) Real-time opinion aggregation methods for crowd robotics At 14th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS), Turkey. 04 - 08 May 2015. 8 pp, pp. 841-849.

Auffenberg, Frederik, Stein, Sebastian and Rogers, Alex (2015) A heating agent using a personalised thermal comfort model to Save energy At International Conference on Autonomous Agents & Multiagent Systems, Turkey. 2 pp, pp. 1799-1800.

Auffenberg, Frederik, Stein, Sebastian and Rogers, Alex (2015) A personalised thermal comfort model using a Bayesian network At International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Argentina. 25 - 31 Jul 2015. 7 pp, pp. 2547-2553.

Hayakawa, Keiichiro, Gerding, Enrico, Stein, Sebastian and Shiga, Takahiro (2015) Online Mechanisms for Charging Electric Vehicles in Settings with Varying Marginal Electricity Costs At 24th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI). , pp. 2610-2616.

Salisbury, Elliot, Stein, Sebastian and Ramchurn, Sarvapali (2015) CrowdAR: augmenting live video with a real-time crowd At HCOMP 2015: Third AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing, United States. 08 - 11 Nov 2015. , pp. 169-177.

de Weerdt, Mathijs M., Stein, Sebastian, Gerding, Enrico, ROBU, VALENTIN and Jennings, Nicholas (2015) Data for "Intention-Aware Routing of Electric Vehicles" in IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems University of Southampton [Dataset]

Zenonos, Alexandros, Stein, Sebastian and Jennings, Nicholas R (2015) An Algorithm to Coordinate Measurements using Stochastic Human Mobility Patterns in Large-Scale Participatory Sensing Settings At Thirtieth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-16). 7 pp, pp. 3936-3942.

de Weerdt, M., Stein, S., Gerding, E., Robu, V. and Jennings, N.R. (2015) Intention-aware routing of electric vehicles IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, 17, (5), pp. 1472-1482. (doi:10.1109/TITS.2015.2506900).

Stein, S, Gerding, E, Nedea, A, Rosenfeld, A and Jennings, N R (2016) Bid2Charge: Market user interface design for electric vehicle charging At International Conference on Autonomous Agents & Multiagent Systems (AAMAS '16), Singapore. 09 - 13 May 2016. 8 pp, pp. 882-890.

Gerding, Enrico, Stein, Sebastian, Ceppi, Sofia and ROBU, VALENTIN (2016) Data for "Online Mechanism Design for Vehicle-to-Grid Car Parks" in Proc. IJCAI-16 University of Southampton [Dataset]

Gerding, Enrico, Stein, Sebastian, Ceppi, Sofia and Robu, Valentin (2016) Online mechanism design for vehicle-to-grid car parks At International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-16), United States. 01 Jul 2016. 8 pp, pp. 286-293.

Drwal, Maciej, Gerding, Enrico, Stein, Sebastian, Hayakawa, Keiichiro and Kitaoka, Hironobu (2017) Adaptive pricing mechanisms for on-demand mobility At AAMAS 2017, São Paulo, Brazil. 08 - 12 May 2017. 9 pp, pp. 1017-1025.

Wiyono, Didiek, Sri, Stein, Sebastian and Gerding, Enrico H. (2016) Novel energy exchange models and a trading agent for community energy market At International Conference on the European Energy Market, Porto, Portugal. 06 - 09 Jun 2016. , pp. 1-5.

Auffenberg, Frederik, Snow, Stephen, Stein, Sebastian and Rogers, Alex (2017) A comfort-based approach to smart heating and air conditioning ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology

Zenonos, Alexandros, Stein, Sebastian and Jennings, Nicholas R. (2017) Coordinating measurements for environmental monitoring in uncertain participatory sensing settings , Southampton, UK University of Southampton 40pp. (Technical Report, 2016).

Stein, Sebastian, Gerding, Enrico, Nedea, Adrian, Rosenfeld, Avi and Jennings, Nicholas (2017) Market interfaces for electric vehicle charging Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 59, pp. 175-227. (doi:10.1613/jair.5387).

Zenonos, Alexandros, Stein, Sebastian and Jennings, Nicholas (2017) A trust-based coordination system for participatory sensing applications At 5th AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing, Quebec City, Canada. 24 - 26 Oct 2017. , pp. 226-234.

Stein, Sebastian, Gerding, Enrico, Nedea, A, Rosenfeld, Avi and Jennings, Nicholas (2017) Evaluating market user interfaces for electric vehicle charging using Bid2Charge At International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), Melbourne, Australia. 19 - 25 Aug 2017. 5 pp, pp. 4939-4943.

Balsamo, Domenico, Merrett, Geoff V., Zaghari, Bahareh, Wei, Yang, Ramchurn, Sarvapali, Stein, Sebastian, Weddell, Alexander and Beeby, Stephen (2017) Wearable and autonomous computing for future smart cities: open challenges At 25th International Conference on Software, Telecommunications and Computer Networks, Slit, Croatia. 21 - 23 Sep 2017. 5 pp.

Stein, Sebastian, Eshghi, Soheil, Maghsudi, Setareh, Tassiulas, Leandros, Bellamy, Rachel K. E. and Jennings, Nicholas (2017) Heuristic algorithms for influence maximization in partially observable social networks In Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Social Influence Analysis (SocInf 2017): in conjunction with the Twenty-Sixth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Melbourne, Australia, August 19, 2017. vol. 1893, , pp. 20-32.

Stein, Sebastian, Eshghi, Soheil, Maghsudi, Setareh, Tassiulas, Leandros, Bellamy, Rachel K.E. and Jennings, Nicholas (2017) Influence maximisation beyond organisational boundaries In 3rd IEEE Smart World Congress (SmartWorld 2017). IEEE. 6 pp.

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