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

Dr Sebastian Stein 

Associate Professor

Sebastian is an associate 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 Director of Programmes for Computer Science (UG).

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.

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) 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) 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 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) 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) 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. Twenty-Second Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-07), 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) 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 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), 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) 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) 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) 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), 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) 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) 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) 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), 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)) 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) 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) 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 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) 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 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) 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), 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, 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. 13th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, France. 05 - 09 May 2014. 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, 89-111. (doi:10.1016/j.artint.2014.04.005).

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 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 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) 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. International Conference on Autonomous Agents & Multiagent Systems, Istanbul, Turkey. 2 pp, pp. 1799-1800.

Auffenberg, Frederik, Stein, Sebastian and Rogers, Alex (2015) A personalised thermal comfort model using a Bayesian network. 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) 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 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 doi:10.5258/SOTON/383415 [Dataset]

Zenonos, Alexandros, Stein, Sebastian and Jennings, Nicholas R (2016) An Algorithm to Coordinate Measurements using Stochastic Human Mobility Patterns in Large-Scale Participatory Sensing Settings. 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), 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) 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. 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. In Proceedings of AAMAS 2017: Sixteenth International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems. 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. International Conference on the European Energy Market, Porto, Portugal. 06 - 09 Jun 2016. pp. 1-5. (doi:10.1109/EEM.2016.7521196).

Auffenberg, Frederik, Snow, Stephen, Stein, Sebastian and Rogers, Alex (2018) A comfort-based approach to smart heating and air conditioning. ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology, 9 (3). (doi:10.1145/3057730).

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, 175-227. (doi:10.1613/jair.5387).

Zenonos, Alexandros, Stein, Sebastian and Jennings, Nicholas (2017) A trust-based coordination system for participatory sensing applications. In Fifth AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing. AAAI. 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. Sierra, Carles (ed.) In Proceedings of the Twenty-Sixth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-17): Best Sister Conferences. International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence. 5 pp, pp. 4939-4943. (doi:10.24963/ijcai.2017/698).

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. In 25th International Conference on Software, Telecommunications and Computer Networks (SoftCOM). IEEE. 5 pp. (doi:10.23919/SOFTCOM.2017.8115596).

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.

Zenonos, Alexandros, Stein, Sebastian and Jennings, Nicholas R. (2018) Coordinating measurements for environmental monitoring in uncertain participatory sensing settings. Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 61, 433-474. (doi:10.1613/jair.5484).

Hayakawa, Keiichiro, Gerding, Enrico, Stein, Sebastian and Shiga, Takahiro (2018) Price-based online mechanisms for settings with uncertain future procurement costs and multi-unit demand. In 17th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2018). ACM.. (In Press)

Brede, Markus, Restocchi, Valerio and Stein, Sebastian (2018) Resisting influence: How the strength of predispositions to resist control can change strategies for optimal opinion control in the voter model. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 5 (34). (doi:10.3389/frobt.2018.00034).

Truong, Nhat, Van Quoc, Stein, Sebastian, Tran-Thanh, Long and Jennings, Nick (2018) Adaptive incentive selection for crowdsourcing contests. At 17th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (13/07/18) 17th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, Stockholm, Sweden. 11 - 13 Jul 2018. 2 pp.

He, Ting, Khamfroush, Hana, Wang, Shiqiang, La Porta, Tom and Stein, Sebastian (2018) It’s hard to share: Joint service placement and request scheduling in edge clouds with sharable and non-sharable resources. In 38th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS'18). IEEE.. (In Press)

He, Ting, Khamfroush, Hana, Wang, Shiqiang, La Porta, Tom and Stein, Sebastian (2018) It's hard to share: joint service placement and request scheduling in edge clouds with sharable and non-sharable resources. In Proceedings - 2018 IEEE 38th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2018. vol. 2018-July, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. 11 pp, pp. 365-375. (doi:10.1109/ICDCS.2018.00044).

Brede, Markus, Restocchi, Valerio and Stein, Sebastian (2018) Effects of time horizons on Influence maximization in the voter dynamics. Journal of Complex Networks. (In Press)

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