Orchid Project

The ORCHID Project


As computation increasingly pervades the world around us, it will profoundly change the ways in which we work with computers. Rather than issuing instructions to passive machines, humans and software agents will continually and flexibly establish a range of collaborative relationships with one another, forming human-agent collectives (HACs) to meet their individual and collective goals.

This vision of people and computational agents operating at a global scale offers tremendous potential and, if realised correctly, will help us meet the key societal challenges of sustainability, inclusion, and safety that are core to our future.

To fully realise this vision, we require a principled science that allows us to reason about the computational and human aspects of these systems. Delivering this science is the core research objective of ORCHID. Specifically, we seek to establish the science that is needed to understand, build and apply HACs that symbiotically interleave human and computer systems to an unprecedented degree. With multi-disciplinary expertise in the areas of artificial intelligence, agent-based computing, machine learning, decentralised information systems, crowd sourcing, participatory systems, and ubiquitous computing, the ORCHID team aims to drive the science of HACs to real-world applications in the critical domains of the smart grid, disaster response and citizen science.

Latest News

  • Jul 31

    IJCAI 2015 Press Conference
    Nick Jennings spoke about the support intelligent agents can provide to real-world emergency responders in hazardous and uncertain environments.
  • May 14

    ORCHID Researchers provide Nepal Earthquake response
    ORCHID Researchers have been providing crucial support and expertise to the emergency response efforts in Nepal, following the devastating earthquakes that have hit the country in the past few weeks. They have worked with Rescue Global, an international disaster response charity, to provide situation awareness for aid agencies in Nepal. Find out more at Nepal […]
  • May 08

    Best paper award – AAMAS 2015
    Our paper, “HAC-ER: A disaster response system based on Human-Agent Collectives” won the best paper award (Innovative Applications) at the Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS) in Istanbul. Thanks to the whole team who built the HAC demonstrator and wrote the paper and to the practitioners who gave us the challenges to address.
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Doctoral Training Programme

Offering fully funded scholarships to eligible applicants interested in building the next generation of intelligent information systems.

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Disaster response

We are developing systems that allow first responders, unmanned ground and aerial vehicles, and software agents to work effectively together.

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Smart Grid

We are developing novel algorithms and interfaces to optimise energy consumption and coordinate consumers and producers in the smart grid.

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Citizen Science

We are developing approaches that make full use of the skills, preferences and capabilities of citizen scientists.

Learn more about Citizen Science »