Leader of the group Intelligent and Autonomous Systems: Eric Pauwels.

Increasingly, our social and technological world is organised around complex systems. These are dynamic networks of interacting nodes (or agents) that continuously exchange digital or physical resources, including data or information, energy, materials and products. The agents in these systems face real challenges, as they often only have access to partial and noisy information and need to operate in a constantly changing and uncertain environment. As a consequence, there is an unrelenting pressure to improve the network’s overall performance and resilience by making the individual nodes more intelligent and autonomous.

In our research group, we study generic and fundamental mechanisms that enable the emergence of various degrees of organization, intelligence and autonomy in such systems, and apply them to concrete problems of societal relevance.

For more information on our seminars, visit the seminar webpage.


Project Researcher / Postdoc (1 year) on the subject of Blockchains, Dynamic Contracts and Autonomous Negotiation for Smart Grids

Energy systems are currently in a revolutionary transition, due to the increasing inclusion of sustainable energy sources. Whereas in the past, energy supply was determined by demand and was supplied centrally, in the future, demand and increasingly decentralized supply will need to respond to each other. Their balancing requires a combination of adjusting conventional generation, exploiting efficient storage technologies and implementing demand response with corresponding incentives thereof. Balancing activities may take place on multiple scales, from the individual household to the European or even an envisioned global grid. The vacant position contributes to the research, development and experimentation to tackle applied scientific research questions within the EIT Digital project ‘Distributed Ledger Services for Online Contract Settlement (DLS OCS)’. The primary driver is increasing system efficiency by a fair attribution of energy planning and plan-deviation costs between multiple stakeholders. The aims of DLS-OCS are to extend the state of the art in (1) Contract definitions, specifically for trading electric flexibility (demand response), (2) Negotiation strategies, specifying how parameters of the contracts are agreed upon by autonomous agents, (3) Use-case scenarios, how a blockchain-based solution can provide services in the energy context. The research shall draw on tools and techniques from sequential multi-agent decision-making under uncertainty, (evolutionary) game theory and market mechanism design. The project is a European collaboration, and the research is closely related to other research activities within the group. The applicant will take responsibility for the implementation of algorithms and contracts for planning and intelligent local control in face of uncertainty, and will closely collaborate with other project team members. Overall, the work is aimed at developing reusable software algorithms, simulation and control modules that can be employed in scientific experiments related to the research in the group

Project Researcher / Postdoc (1 year) on the subject of Blockchains, Dynamic Contracts and Autonomous Negotiation for Smart Grids - Read More…



IAS Lecture Mihail Mihaylov: Smart Contracts for Smart Grids. A case study on NRGcoin

  • 2017-02-06T14:30:00+01:00
  • 2017-02-06T15:30:00+01:00
February 6 Monday

Start: 2017-02-06 14:30:00+01:00 End: 2017-02-06 15:30:00+01:00

Room M390 - CWI (third floor)

Everyone is welcome to attend the public lecture of Mihail "Mike" Mihaylov.

Abstract: The emergence of Blockchain technology in 2009 has been compared to the rise of the Internet in the 90's. The Blockchain technology first disrupted the FinTech sector and is now making its way to the relatively new IoT and Smart Grid sectors. In 2015 a new variant emerged that allowed building decentralized software known as Smart Contracts. In this talk I will give an overview of bitcoin and blockchain technology and will explain the concept of a Smart Contract. I will then present this concept in the context of the Smart Grid, studying its advantages and drawbacks. As an example of a Smart Contract I will show a novel blockchain-based incentive mechanism, that I call NRGcoin.

Bio: Dr. Mihail Mihaylov is a senior research scientist at the Artificial Intelligence lab of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. His interests and work focus on renewable energy, smart grids and blockchain technology. In 2008 he obtained his M.Sc. degree in artificial intelligence with distinction from Maastricht University, The Netherlands and subsequently was awarded Leo Coolen Award for his thesis entitled "Computational Mechanism Design for Wireless Sensor Networks". In 2012 he obtained his Ph.D. degree in artificial intelligence with highest distinction from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium with his doctoral thesis "Decentralized Coordination in Multi-agent Systems". He then worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the University of Leuven in Ghent, Belgium for 1 year, and as a senior research scientist in Sensing & Control Systems in Barcelona, Spain for 2 years.

IAS Lecture Tim Baarslag: Pandora's Problem - a technique from search theory to deal with preference uncertainty

  • 2017-02-01T14:00:00+01:00
  • 2017-02-01T15:00:00+01:00
February 1 Wednesday

Start: 2017-02-01 14:00:00+01:00 End: 2017-02-01 15:00:00+01:00

Room M390 - CWI (third floor)

Everyone is welcome to attend the CWI lecture of Tim Baarslag. Abstract:

In this talk, I will introduce a problem from search theory called
Pandora's Problem. The problem deals with optimizing reward while
searching through boxes with uncertain prizes, which can be uncovered
against certain costs. Pandora's Problem not only has a wide range of
possible applications, it also has a surprisingly elegant and optimal
solution. I will provide some intuition behind the solution and then
show an application of this technique in the form of a negotiating agent
that can adapt itself to the user by incrementally eliciting the user's
preferences. This yields an optimal elicitation strategy that decides,
at every stage of the negotiation, how much additional user information
to extract while avoiding elicitation fatigue.

PhD Defence Nicolas Höning (IS)

  • 2016-05-27T10:30:00+02:00
  • 2016-05-27T13:30:00+02:00
May 27 Friday

Start: 2016-05-27 10:30:00+02:00 End: 2016-05-27 13:30:00+02:00

Aula van de Technische Universiteit, Mekelweg 5, Delft

Everyone is welcome to attend the defence of Nicolas Höning of his thesis 'Markets and Prices for Flexible Planning'.

Promotor: Prof.dr. J.A. La Poutré

Members of Intelligent and Autonomous Systems

Current Projects

  • Data-driven monitoring, prediction and real-time control for the smart grid and its users (project C)
  • Distributed Ledger Services for Online Settlement (DLS OCS)
  • Framework for demand-supply matching and ancillary service provision through distributed energy resources (project D)
  • Opdracht Cofely
  • Universality, critical indices and resilience in logistics networks: a mean field approach
    Adaptive clustering for Decentralised Resilient Energy Management
  • Grid-Friends
    Demand response for grid-friendly quasi-autarkic energy cooperatives
    Heat and Power Systems at Industrial Sites and Harbours
    SG BEMS: De kunst van het optimaliseren
    Scalable Interoperability in Information Systems for Agile Supply Chains (SIISASC)
    Stable and scalable decentralized power balancing systems using adaptive clustering


  • Almende
  • Alstom
  • Brainport Development
  • Brainport Development
  • Descartes
  • DNV GL
  • Eaton
  • Eaton
  • Endinet
  • Enexis
  • Kropman Installatietechniek
  • Locamation
  • Locamation
  • LogIT Systems
  • Net2Grid
  • Stedin
  • Stedin
  • TenneT
  • Thales
  • Thales
  • Vortech
  • Cofely West Nederland
  • TNO
  • TNO
  • TNO
  • Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
  • Technische Universiteit Delft
  • Technische Universiteit Delft