Skip to main content

Multi-agent System for Safeguarding Children Online

  • Conference paper
  • First Online:
Proceedings of SAI Intelligent Systems Conference (IntelliSys) 2016 (IntelliSys 2016)

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems ((LNNS,volume 16))

Included in the following conference series:

  • 2729 Accesses


The internet has become an integral part of our lives and it offers new ways to connect to each other. While this has many benefits, it also has a darker side.

Over the recent years, there has been a consistent stream of news articles about children being put at risk due to unsafe online communications. There has been a global drive to educate parents and children around the dangers and provide them with guidelines for safe practice. Yet, reports that another child has gone missing after going to meet someone they had only met online persist.

In this paper, we are presenting our work in designing and developing a prototype system that will provide a safer environment for children online. In order to combat such a complex problem, it is necessary to integrate various artificial intelligent technologies into an autonomous system. The system was implemented using Java Agent Development Environment (JADE), Protégé Ontology development and reasoning techniques, and natural language processing (NLP). We have devised a testing system to measure the effectiveness of the system in detecting potential risk to the child. Initial results of experiments are encouraging and demonstrate the system’s capability in preventing sensitive information, such as name, address and telephone number being transmitted as part of an on-going conversation. The system will be capable of identifying levels of threat in the context of a longer conversation and recognize the key factors, intention, location and time which contribute to meeting arrangements and proactively generating a warning.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 169.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 219.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Unicef: What is the UNCRC? | children’s rights | Unicef UK (2016). Accessed 12 May 2016

  2. K9 web protection (2010). Accessed 12 May 2016

  3. Hinks, J.: Best free parental control software: 5 programs to keep your kids safe in 2015 (2015). Accessed 12 May 2016

  4. Reporter, D.M.: Teenage girl missing after going to meet a man she had fallen for on Facebook (2010). Accessed 1 May 2016

  5. Withnall, A.: Breck Bednar murder: Teenage video gamer admits killing British schoolboy after meeting arranged online (2014). Accessed 12 May 2016

  6. Wooldridge, M.J.: An Introduction to Multi Agent Systems, 2nd edn. Wiley, Chichester (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  7. Davies, J., Fensel, D., Van Harmelen, F.: Towards the Semantic Web (Ontology Driven Knowledge Management). Wiley, Chichester (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  8. Gasevic, D., Djuric, D., Devedjic, V.: Model Driven Architecture and Ontology Development. Springer, Berlin (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  9. Protégé (2016). Accessed 1 May 2016

  10. OWL - semantic web standards (2001). Accessed 12 May 2016

  11. Horridge, M., Knublauch, H., Rector, A, Steverns, R., Wroe, C.: A Practical Guide to Building Ontologies Using The Protégé- OWL Plugin and CO-ODE Tools. The University of Manchester 2004

    Google Scholar 

  12. Site, J.: JAVA agent dEvelopment framework (2015). Accessed 1 May 2016

  13. Bellifemine, F., Caire, G., Greenwood, D.: Developing Multi-agent Systems with JADE. Wiley, Chichester (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  14. Jurafsky, D., Martin, J.: Speech and Language Processing (An Introduction to Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics and Speech Recognition). Prentice-Hall, Inc., New Jersey (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  15. MacFarlane, K., Holmes, V.: Agent-Mediated Information Exchange: Child Safety Online. In: Management and Service Science, 2009, MASS 2009

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Violeta Holmes .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2018 Springer International Publishing AG

About this paper

Cite this paper

MacFarlane, K., Holmes, V. (2018). Multi-agent System for Safeguarding Children Online. In: Bi, Y., Kapoor, S., Bhatia, R. (eds) Proceedings of SAI Intelligent Systems Conference (IntelliSys) 2016. IntelliSys 2016. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, vol 16. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-56990-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-56991-8

  • eBook Packages: EngineeringEngineering (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics