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Michael Winikoff

AmusA(AMEB), BSc-Hons(Melbourne), PhD(Melbourne)

8.04, Commerce Building
+64 3 479 8386
Tom Gu
Manjula Devananda, Wendy Wlasak
2018 S1: BSNS115, INFO201
2018 S2: BSNS115, INFO202, INFO407
Research group
Autonomous Systems


I joined the Department of Information Science in September 2009, and was Head of Department from February 2011 to December 2016. Earlier in 2009 (since September 2008) I worked at the university's Higher Education Development Centre, and before that was Associate Professor at RMIT University's School of Computer Science and IT.

Professor Holger Regenbrecht has taken over as Head of Department. 

I tweet at: @profwinikoff

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In 2017 I was on sabbatical for most of the year. Since returning I've been involved in INFO407, and in curriculum development for 2018.

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The overall aim of my research is to find better ways of creating software. I am interested in (agent oriented) software engineering, programming languages, and logic and formal methods.

Over the past decade and a half I have focussed on software that is conceptualised in terms of "intelligent agents" which are able to exhibit robust and flexible behaviour. My work has included:

  • Concepts for designing agent software including the crucial role that is played by goals and how (and why) they should be explicitly represented in agent systems.
  • Design methodologies for agent-based systems, in particular the Prometheus methodology.
  • Techniques for designing and implementing flexible and robust interactions between agents, including both goal-based techniques and techniques based on commitment machines.
  • Techniques for debugging and for software maintenance of agent systems.
  • Agent-oriented programming languages.
  • Applying social expectations to monitoring interactions (which can be software-software, software-humans, or computer-mediated human-human interaction).

More recently I have been looking at societal consequences of autonomous systems, and the issues that affect trust in these systems.

My Erdös number is 3. See also my google scholar entry and my DBLP page.

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I was Head of Department (February 2011 - December 2016) of the department of Information Science.

I represent the division of commerce on the university's Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC), am on the Academic Leadership Advisory Group, and on the Academic Advisory Group for the Support Services Review.

I am also on various other university committees (e.g. Divisional and Departmental Research Committees, Divisional Academic Board, Senate).

I am also an Associate Editor for the Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, and Editor-in-Chief for the International Journal of Agent-Oriented Software Engineering.

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I have written a range of software including W-Prolog, Lygon,, SmartGuide, and a range of palm pilot software including Karel the robot.

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"I would teach children music, physics and philosophy; but more importantly music, for in the patterns of music and the arts are the keys to learning." (Plato)

I am a keen musician: I play piano, sing in choirs, sometimes conduct choirs, and have been known to compose on occasion.

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Note: The list below is automatically generated from the publication database of the University of Otago.
A more complete list can be found on a separate page.

Winikoff, M. (2017). BDI agent testability revisited. Autonomous Agent & Multi-Agent Systems, 31(5), 1094-1132. doi: 10.1007/s10458-016-9356-2

Abushark, Y., Miller, T., Thangarajah, J., Winikoff, M., & Harland, J. (2017). Requirements specification via activity diagrams for agent-based systems. Autonomous Agent & Multi-Agent Systems, 31(3), 423-468. doi: 10.1007/s10458-016-9327-7

Dam, H. K., Egyed, A., Winikoff, M., Reder, A., & Lopez-Herrejon, R. E. (2016). Consistent merging of model versions. Journal of Systems & Software, 112, 137-155. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2015.06.044

Günay, A., Winikoff, M., & Yolum, P. (2015). Dynamically generated commitment protocols in open systems. Autonomous Agent & Multi-Agent Systems, 29(2), 192-229. doi: 10.1007/s10458-014-9251-7

Winikoff, M., & Cranefield, S. (2014). On the testability of BDI agent systems. Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 51, 71-131. doi: 10.1613/jair.4458

More publications...