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Michael Wellman Recognized with ACM/SIGAI Autonomous Agents Research Award

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Professor Michael P. Wellman has been selected by the ACM Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence (SIGAI) as the recipient of its 2014 Autonomous Agents Research Award. The award acknowledges the contributions of outstanding researchers in the field of autonomous agents, and is granted each year to one individual whose work is influencing and setting the direction for the field.

According to the citation, “Prof. Wellman has had a profound and broad impact across an array of research challenges in autonomous agents and multiagent systems. Prof. Wellman’s contributions range from his pioneering work that helped introduce economic paradigms in multiagent systems, to significant contributions to computational game theory and electronic commerce, including mechanism design and market-based systems. Additionally, Prof. Wellman played an instrumental role in launching the annual Trading Agent Competition (TAC), one of the oldest and most well-known research competitions in multi-agent systems.”

Prof. Wellman received his PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1988 for his work in qualitative probabilistic reasoning and decision-theoretic planning. From 1988 to 1992, he conducted research in these areas at the United States Air Force’s Wright Laboratory. In 1992, he joined the faculty at Michigan, where he is a member of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory  and leads the Strategic Reasoning Group.

For over 20 years, his research has focused on computational market mechanisms for distributed decision making and electronic commerce, and in 2011 he authored a book on trading agents for electronic markets. In 2012, he received the IFAAMAS Influential Paper Award for his 1993 paper describing a market-oriented programming approach to distributed problem solving, which was published in the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research.

Prof. Wellman was Chief Market Technologist at e-commerce startup TradingDynamics, Inc. (now part of Ariba), where he designed configurable auction technology for dynamic business-to-business commerce. Prof. Wellman previously served as Chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Electronic Commerce (SIGecom), and as Executive Editor of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research. He is a Fellow of AAAI and ACM.

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