Towards Executable Representations of Social Machines

  • Dave Murray-RustEmail author
  • Alan Davoust
  • Petros Papapanagiotou
  • Areti Manataki
  • Max Van Kleek
  • Nigel Shadbolt
  • Dave Robertson
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10871)


Human interaction is increasingly mediated through technological systems, resulting in the emergence of a new class of socio-technical systems, often called Social Machines. However, many systems are designed and managed in a centralised way, limiting the participants’ autonomy and ability to shape the systems they are part of.

In this paper we are concerned with creating a graphical formalism that allows novice users to simply draw the patterns of interaction that they desire, and have computational infrastructure assemble around the diagram. Our work includes a series of participatory design workshops, that help to understand the levels and types of abstraction that the general public are comfortable with when designing socio-technical systems. These design studies lead to a novel formalism that allows us to compose rich interaction protocols into functioning, executable architecture. We demonstrate this by translating one of the designs produced by workshop participants into an a running agent institution using the Lightweight Social Calculus (LSC).


Social machines Diagrammatic interface Rapid assembly Prototyping 


  1. 1.
    Agüero, J., Rebollo, M., Carrascosa, C., Julián, V.: MDD for virtual organization design. In: Demazeau, Y., et al. (eds.) Trends in Practical Applications of Agents and Multiagent Systems. Advances in Intelligent and Soft Computing, vol. 71, pp. 9–17. Springer, Heidelberg (2010). Scholar
  2. 2.
    Berners-Lee, T., Fischetti, M., Foreword By-Dertouzos, M.L.: Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by Its Inventor. HarperInformation, New York City (2000)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    France, R., Rumpe, B.: Model-driven development of complex software: a research roadmap. In: 2007 Future of Software Engineering, pp. 37–54. IEEE Computer Society (2007)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Murray-Rust, D., Papapanagiotou, P., Robertson, D.: Softening electronic institutions to support natural interaction. Hum. Comput. 2(2), 34 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Murray-Rust, D., Robertson, D.: LSCitter: building social machines by augmenting existing social networks with interaction models. In: Chung, C., Broder, A.Z., Shim, K., Suel, T. (eds.) 23rd International World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2014, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 7–11 April 2014, Companion Volume, pp. 875–880. ACM (2014).
  6. 6.
    Robertson, D.: A lightweight coordination calculus for agent systems. In: Leite, J., Omicini, A., Torroni, P., Yolum, I. (eds.) DALT 2004. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 3476, pp. 183–197. Springer, Heidelberg (2005). Scholar
  7. 7.
    Shadbolt, N., Van Kleek, M., Binns, R.: The rise of social machines: the development of a human/digital ecosystem. IEEE Consum. Electron. Mag. 5(2), 106–111 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.University of OxfordOxfordUK

Personalised recommendations