Research Proposals

This page collects some research topics for Master and Bachelor theses. The subjects are aligned with the ongoing research projects, our teaching, and reflect the interdisciplinary nature of our department. This list is not exaustive and may be not fully updated, so do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

Theses proposals

Credit options for a Mortgage

Checking your credit score will help you determine your financing options; lenders use it to set your loan pricing and see if you’re able to repay your mortgage. Also, when you’re eligible for an auto loan, credit scoring models will look at your credit report to determine whether you’re an excellent risk for credit damage, and a lender may refuse to extend you the loan if they find out that you’re a credit risk.
Some banks, including Ally, Nela, SunTrust, SunTrust, Nationwide, PNC and Wells Fargo use the FICO Credit Score for their credit applications. Some state offices also use the FICO credit score, although not all states have the same model.
When you apply for a mortgage, a lender will also look at your credit report. Many lenders will use the FICO Credit Score in conjunction with the historical payment history from your credit report to calculate your risk score, which can help them decide whether you are a good risk for credit damage.
In order for your credit score to rise, you need to make steady, qualified, and timely payments to your mortgage lender and you can get more data on how this work in sites such as Your mortgage lender will set up a process for this and other requirements (see below for the details).
When will my credit score change?
The most accurate, current, and trustworthy information is contained in your credit report. The first time a lender looks at your credit report, they will not see your information but will be looking at your account history. If they see that you’re having trouble paying your mortgage payments, or are trying to access more credit, that should raise red flags. If you’re having trouble making payments on your mortgage and are having trouble paying your other bills as well, you should get more detailed information about your credit situation and address these issues as soon as possible.
Is my credit report accurate and up-to-date?
Everyone’s credit report will be accurate and up-to-date, but you may not know about any major mistakes or errors until its too late and the damage is already done.
You don’t have to worry that your credit report will be accurate and up-to-date at all, because the information in it is protected. The Experian Credit Report Guarantee ensures that no agency can take your credit report (or information contained in it) and use it to issue credit, or offer credit to you. Experian Credit Report Guarantee details on how to file a dispute about your Experian Credit Report.
Should I keep my credit report updated?
A credit score is calculated based on your credit reports, which include any information that has not been filed. That’s why you should keep your credit reports up-to-date in the normal course of business.
How often should I check my credit score?
The first time a lender checks your credit report, you don’t need to worry. They do not run a credit check, just check your report for inaccuracies and record that information for future reference. If they find you to be an excellent risk for credit damage and refuse to loan you the mortgage, they wont run a credit check. The decision to run a credit check is up to them.

Cognitive agents platform to model complex social behaviour

Research Themes: Agent Programming / Programming languages / Agent-Based Modeling / Concurrent computation


Current cognitive agents programming frameworks (ex. AgentSpeak/Jason, 2APL, Goal, etc.) mostly focus on the logical aspects associated to intentional entities, rather then the computational issues derived from concurrent execution. However, in principle, agents are entities that act concurrently in an environment (shared resources and infrastructures). Their internal cognitive processes may be concurrent as well. In the last months, few prototypes of these platforms have been built on top of functional programming languages, showing an enormous difference in efficiency, compared to the most known implementations, mostly implemented in Java.

On the other side, agent-based modelling frameworks like Repast, AgentScape, etc. refer to models of agents provided with basic rationality, usually not involving concepts like Beliefs-Desires-Intentions. Although there have been proposals in introducing these extensions, results seem to be not satisfactory, probably because of the high overload of these platforms. Furthermore, the configuration and exploitation of such applications still require skills that are not usual for non-IT researcher/practitioners, thus hampering specification by domain experts. Visual programming techniques may probably help in this respect.

Our project aims to develop a full framework for the acquisition, execution and exploitation of social institutional scenarios involving cognitive agents. The agents we are considering are fully non-reflective intentional agents. Their behaviour is deterministically defined according to a script, usually extrated from scenarios provided by experts. Conversely, the behaviour resulting from the interaction between several agents is not deterministic.

The underlying model we focus on is agent-role, which add intentionality to the role abstraction. The components of the agent-role model should be sufficient for a complete first-order theory of mind.

Given the complexity of the quest, various abstractions are possible, addressing different aspects of the problem. There is room for 3-4 students, with separate objectives and theses, but elaborating on the same conceptual framework. This is a not exhaustive list of topics concerning the research:

  • definition of agent-role model components:
    • intents, beliefs, reactive plans, maintenance goals, desires, etc.
    • speech acts: assertions, directives (questions, commands), commissives (not included in FIPA),
  • formal semantics and verification for an agent-role programming language,
  • transformation from visual models (e.g. Message Sequences Diagrams, adequately enriched with intentional components) to visual computational models (e.g. Petri Nets), and then in agent-role scripts,
  • development of an engine executing several concurrent agent-role scripts (e.g. to be run on a server),
  • development of an engine executing a defined scenario (e.g. to be run on a web-based client),
  • conception and development of user interface for an IDE tailored on agent and scenario modeling.


Alexander Boer,, Leibniz Center for Law
Giovanni Sileno,, Leibniz Center for Law


  • Sileno, G., Boer, A., & van Engers, T. (2014). From Inter-Agent to Intra-Agent Representations: Mapping Social Scenarios to Agent-Role Descriptions. In Proceedings 6th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence (ICAART 2014).
  • Boer, A., & Engers, T. (2013). Agile: a problem-based model of regulatory policy making. Artificial Intelligence and Law, 21(4), 399–423.
  • D. Harel and R. Marelly. Specifying and executing behavioral requirements: The play-in/play-out approach. Software and Systems Modeling, 82–107, 2003.
  • Cohen, P. R., & Levesque, H. J. (1990). Intention is choice with commitment. Artificial Intelligence, 42(2-3), 213–261.
  • Rao, A. S. (1996). AgentSpeak (L): BDI agents speak out in a logical computable language. In Proc. of 7th European Workshop on Modelling Autonomous Agents in a Multi-Agent World.
  • Diaz, Á. F., Earle, C. B., & Fredlund, L. (2012). eJason: an implementation of Jason in Erlang. Tenth International Workshop on Programming Multi-Agent Systems – PROMAS 2012.
  • Harel, D., & Rumpe, B. (2000). Modeling Languages: Syntax, Semantics and All That Stuff, 1–28.
  • Best, E., Devillers, R., & Koutny, M. (1998). Petri nets, process algebras and concurrent programming languages. Lectures on Petri Nets II: Applications.

Theses proposals