Welcome to ESSENCE

a 4-year, €4 million Marie Curie Initial Training Network (FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN) funded by the European Comission (grant agreement no. 607062)

In everyday life, humans exhibit strong skills in resolving communication problems by re-negotiating what they mean. Modern-day computational systems, however, are lacking in resilience and robustness in this respect. Whenever different components with different vocabularies and models of meaning interact within distributed, open enviroments, they have to rely on their human designers’ abilities to resolve problems of miscommunication.

The aim of the ESSENCE network is to translate these abilities of natural communicating systems to computational systems in order to improve their resilience and robustness, and by doing so to also make these systems more comprehensible to human users. To this end, we will bring together research on phenomena observed in human communication with research from areas that investigate heterogeneous computational communicating systems.

We will develop a transnational virtual research centre that brings together researchers from computational systems that take inspiration from human-based models and vice versa. Within this centre, we will generate new expertise through research on specific sub-topics, which will act as thematic focal points within the area of shared, evolving semantics. This will be achieved by training a new cadre of researchers in the state of the art of both fields, adopting a holistic approach that spans across existing disciplinary boundaries. Our programme of interdisciplinary and cross-sectorial training will involve a diverse range of non-academic and industrial partners, and will ground our research in appropriate application contexts to improve the employability of network participants.

ESSENCE will build a sustainable European research base for future training, research collaboration and commercial exploitation of new techniques in the area. It will establish strong collaborative links with third parties, and promote interest in the broader area through targeted public engagement and outreach activities.