Belkacem Athamena, Ph.D

Director, Business Administration Program

Professor

Al Ain Campus

+971 3 7024808

BusinessAdministration@aau.ac.ae

Education

Ph.D., Computer Engineering (System Modeling and Analysis), Annaba/UCL University, Algeria/Belgium

Bs.c., Computer Engineering (System Modeling and Analysis), Annaba University, Algeria

Bachelor (Engineer), Computer Engineering, Annaba University, Algeria

Research Interests

Multi-Agents Testing, System Modeling and Analysis, Fault Detection and Isolation, Formal Methods, Petri nets Modeling and applications, Fuzzy logic Modeling and applications, Big Data.

Selected Publications

  • Athamena, B., Houhamdi, Z., & ElRefae, G. A. (2022). Retention contracts with asymmetric information: optimistic approach vs pessimistic approach. Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, (ahead-of-print).
  • Houhamdi, Z., Athamena, B., & El Refae, G. (2022). Retention Contracts under Partial Information Electoral Competition Case Study. International Arab Journal of Information Technology19(3 A), 491-500.
  • Athamena, B., & Houhamdi, Z. (2022). Formal Approach to Data Accuracy Evaluation. Informatica (03505596)46(2), 243-258.
  • Houhamdi, Z., & Athamena, B. (2021). Multi-agents collaboration in open system. International Arab Journal of Information Technology18(3A), 393-404.
  • Athamena, B., Houhamdi, Z., & Refae, G. A. E. (2020). Managing asymmetric information effects in decision-making: task complexity-based model. International Journal of Quality Engineering and Technology8(1), 52-76.
  • Houhamdi Z. & Athamena B., (2020). Identity Identification and Management in the Internet of Things. International Arab Journal of Information Technology, 17(4A), 645-654.
  • Houhamdi, Z., Athamena, B., & El Refae, G. (2020). Managing Asymmetric Information Effects in Decision-Making Productivity-Based Model. International Journal of Knowledge and Systems Science (IJKSS)11(2), 86-107.
  • Houhamdi, Z., Athamena, B., Abuzaineddin, R., & Muhairat, M. (2019). A Multi-Agent System for Course Timetable Generation. TEM Journal8(1), 211.
  • Houhamdi, Z., & Athamena, B. (2019). Impacts of information quality on decision-making. Global Business and Economics Review21(1), 26-42.
  • Athamena B. & Houhamdi Z. (2018). Model for Decision-Making Process with Big Data. Journal of Theoretical & Applied Information Technology96(17).
  • Athamena B. & Houhamdi Z. (2017). An Exception Management Model in Multi-Agents Systems. Journal of Computer Science, 13(5), 140-152.
  • Mazouz A. & Athamena B. (2016). Quality Management Process Optimization. International Business Management, 10(28), 6462-6469.
  • Houhamdi, Z., & Athamena, B. (2016). Data freshness evaluation in data integration systems. International Journal of Economics and Business Research11(2), 132-144.
  • Athamena B. & Houhamdi Z. (2015). A Distributed Approach for Monitoring and Diagnosis of Multi-Agent Plan. IEEE - SAI Intelligent Systems Conference (IntelliSys), November 10-11, 2015, London, UK, 863-870.
  • Laamari, Y., Chafaa, K., & Athamena, B. (2015). Particle swarm optimization of an extended Kalman filter for speed and rotor flux estimation of an induction motor drive. Electrical Engineering97(2), 129-138.
  • Houhamdi Z. & Athamena B. (2015). Ontology-based Knowledge Management. International Journal of Engineering and Technology, 7(1), 51-62.
  • Houhamdi Z. & Athamena B. (2015). Information Quality Framework. Global Business & Economics Anthology, I, 181-19.

Teaching Courses

Undergraduate: Database Management Systems, Project Management, Business System Analysis and Applications, Mathematics for Business, Business Data Communication, E-Commerce, Quality Management, Production and Operations Management, Introduction to Programming Languages, Introduction to Software Engineering, Human-Computer Interaction, Software Modeling and Analysis.
Graduate: System Analysis and Design, System/Software Verification, Validation and Testing, System Modeling using Fuzzy logic and neural network.

Memberships

Signal Processing and Automatic Control Laboratory, Annaba University, Algeria
Energetic Systems Modeling Laboratory, Biskra University, Algeria.

Article

Retention Contracts under Partial Information Electoral Competition Case Study

Published in: International Arab Journal of Information Technology

Aug 01, 2022

/ zina houhamdi / Belkacem Athamena / Ghaleb El Refae

This study copes with a class of principal-agent problems where information asymmetry represents an important characteristic. The paper examines the relationship between the principal and agents. The principal has to perform two agents’ screening and discipline tasks. To complete his duties, the principal lacks complete information concerning the agents’ behavior and rarely has partial information regarding the failure or success of launched tactics, alliances, rationalization, etc. We analyze the type of retention contracts (implicit) used by the principal to replace or retain agents. Consistent with literature findings, we demonstrated that agents could be extremely active in showing their competencies; the relationship between dismissal and bad performance is invalid; and occasionally, the principal dismisses qualified agents. Then we determined the rules under which electorates urge political parties to acquire information and choose optimal policies from the voter’s viewpoint.


Article

Retention contracts with asymmetric information: optimistic approach vs pessimistic approach

Published in: Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting

Aug 01, 2022

/ Belkacem Athamena / zina houhamdi / Ghaleb El Refae

Purpose: This paper aims to focus on the utilization of retention contracts to screen and discipline managers in a context in which the council, board of directors, possesses incomplete information about the consequences of managers’ decisions. The analysis enlightens us on empire building, on the slight connection between achievement and firing, and describes concerns about the belief that low achievements result from bad managers. Design/methodology/approach: This paper analyzes a basic model to show the resulting dilemmas. The desire to screen managers to enhance the organization's future well-being motivates managers to show their credentials by becoming excessively active. The council can address this bias by firing a manager whose project is proven to ruin value. Moreover, the council can replace the manager if he has implemented a project but its outcomes remain unobservable. Both decisions decrease the attraction to develop loss-generating projects. However, the dismissing decision on either ground will affect the council deduction that the expected competence of the incoming manager is lower than that of the dismissed manager. Findings: This study shows in which situation the selection option is preferred over the disciplining option using two different retention contracts: optimistic contract and pessimistic contract. Originality/value: This study shows in which situation the selection option is preferred over the disciplining option using two different retention contracts: optimistic contract and pessimistic contract.


Article

Formal Approach to Data Accuracy Evaluation

Published in: Informatica

Jun 01, 2022

/ Belkacem Athamena / zina houhamdi

Usually, data quality is defined by multiple attributes that allow classifying the output data (such as completeness, freshness, and accuracy) or the methods exploiting these data (such as dependability, performance, and protection). Among the suggested quality attributes, we will discuss one of the principal categories: data accuracy. Scientific experiments, decision–making, and data retrieval are examples of situations that require a formal evaluation approach to data accuracy. The evaluation approach should be adaptable to distinct understandings of data accuracy and distinct end-user expectations. This study investigates data accuracy and defines dimensions and metrics that affect its evaluation. The investigation of data accuracy generates problems in the user expectation specification and database quality models. This work describes our proposed approach for data accuracy evaluation by defining an evaluation algorithm that considers the distribution of inaccuracies in database relations. The approach decomposes the query output in accordance with data accuracy, labels every part with its accuracy value, and addresses the possibility of enforcing data accuracy by using these values. This study mainly contributes by proposing an explicit evaluation of quality attributes of data accuracy, a formal evaluation approach to data accuracy, and suggesting some improvement actions to reinforce data accuracy. © 2022 Slovene Society Informatika. All rights reserved.


Article

Multi-agents collaboration in open system

Published in: International Arab Journal of Information Technology

Dec 01, 2021

/ zina houhamdi / Belkacem Athamena

Share constrained resources, accomplish complex tasks and achieve shared or individual goals are examples requiring collaboration between agents in multi-agent systems. The collaboration necessitates an effective team composed of a set of agents that do not have conflicting goals and express their willingness to cooperate. In such a team, the complex task is split into simple tasks, and each agent performs its assigned task to contribute to the fulfilment of the complex task. Nevertheless, team formation is challenging, especially in an open system that consists of self-interested agents performing tasks to achieve several simultaneous goals, usually clashing, by sharing constrained resources. The clashing goals obstruct the collaboration's success since the self-interested agent prefers its individual goals to the team’s shared goal. In open systems, the collaboration team construction process is impacted by the Multi-Agent System (MAS) model, the collaboration’s target, and dependencies between agents’ goals. This study investigates how to allow agents to build collaborative teams to realize a set of goals concurrently in open systems with constrained resources. This paper proposes a fully distributed approach to model the Collaborative Team Construction Model (CTCM). CTCM modifies the social reasoning model to allow agents to achieve their individual and shared goals concurrently by sharing resources in an open MAS by constructing collaborative teams. Each agent shares partial information (to preserve privacy) and models its goal relationships. The proposed team construction approach supports a distributed decision-making process. In CTCM, the agent adapts its self-interest level and adjusts its willingness to form an effective collaborative team. © 2021, Zarka Private University. All rights reserved.


Article

Managing asymmetric information effects in decision making: Task complexity-based model

Published in: International Journal of Quality Engineering and Technology

Oct 01, 2020

/ Belkacem Athamena / zina houhamdi / Ghaleb El Refae

This paper proposes a formal model to manage the impact of asymmetric information in decision-making by using principal-agent problems in which an agent (who has incomplete information) must decide to perform or not perform a task on behalf of the principal. After performing a complex (simple) task, the agent underrates (overrates) his competence. As a consequence of underestimation, a competent agent may decide to stop performing the task henceforth. The agent infers his competence from his productivity on a performed task. However, the productivity depends on both the agent's competence and the task complexity. To avoid this situation, the company appoints a mentor (fully informed superior agent) who can determine the task complexity and assess the agent's competence. Accordingly, the mentor matches the task complexity perfectly with the agent's competence. In cases where the mentor and the junior have different preferences, the mentor may not confess all information to the agent. Nevertheless, the mentor desires the agent to fulfill the task. This paper proposes a solution for all of these situations by using a mathematical model. The model assesses the agent's competence based on his productivity and the mentor's appraisal and assists the agent in making the right decision.


Article

Identity Identification and Management in the Internet of Things

Published in: International Arab Journal of Information Technology

Aug 01, 2020

/ zina houhamdi / Belkacem Athamena

Henceforth, users agreed on the necessity of continuous Internet connection independently of the place, the manner, and the time. Nowadays, several elite services are accessible by people over the Internet of Things (IoT), which is a heterogeneous network defined by machine-to-machine communication. Despite the fact that the devices are used to establish the communication, the users can be considered as the actual producers of input data and consumers of the output data. Consequently, the users should be viewed as a smart object in IoT; therefore, user identification, authentication, authorization are required. However, the user identification process is too complicated because the users are worried to share their confidential and private data. on the other hand, this private data should be used by some of their devices. Accordingly, an equitable mechanism to identify users and manage their identities is necessary. In addition, the user plays an extreme important role in the establishment of rules needed for identity identification and in ensuring the continuity of receptive services.The main purpose of this paper is to develop a new framework for Identity Management System (IdMS) for IoT. The primary contributions of this paper are: the proposition of a device recognition algorithm for user identification, the proposition of a new format for the identifier, and a theoretical framework for IdMS.


Article

Identity Management System Model in the Internet of Things

Published in: TEM Journal

May 01, 2020

/ Belkacem Athamena / zina houhamdi

This paper describes the identity management system (IdMS) by defining system and user requirements. Additionally, it introduces the IdMS concept that approaches the things identity management. Moreover, the paper deeply describes the IdMS features using unified modelling language (UML) diagrams such as class, system, and sequence diagrams to show the main system functionalities. Ultimately, the suggested system is evaluated by comparing it with the existing systems and discussing the fulfilment of user and system requirements.


Article

Managing Asymmetric Information Effects in Decision-Making Productivity-Based Model

Published in: International Journal of Knowledge and Systems Science

Apr 01, 2020

/ zina houhamdi / Belkacem Athamena / Ghaleb El Refae

Making the correct decision requires the possession of sufficient information regarding each alternative possible solution. Nevertheless, the investigation of all possible solutions to select the best alternative is complex and expensive. This article addresses the Principal-Agent problem, where the key feature is asymmetric information. Asymmetric information approaches the decision investigations in a business context, where one participant possesses more or better information than the second party. The authors consider the case where the principal is more knowledgeable than the agent. The article proposes a formal model for assessing agent competence based on his productivity and the principal assessment. The model output helps the agent to make the correct decision.


0

A Multi-Agent System for Course Timetable Generation

Published in: TEM Journal

Mar 01, 2019

/ zina houhamdi / Belkacem Athamena

In the university, course scheduling and preparation for each semester can be defined as the process of determining what courses to offer, the number of sections needed for each course, assigning of a faculty member to teach each section, and allocating a timeslot and a classroom for each section to avoid clashes. The output of this activity (which is a timetable) affects every faculty member and student in various departments. This process is essentially broken down into three main stages: determining the courses to be offered as well as their section numbers, assigning faculty members to different sections, and scheduling of the sections into timeslots and classrooms.This paper investigates each of these steps and congregates them in a scheduling and Decision Support System (DSS). The DSS is used to make easy the process of course offerings by taking into consideration the students’ suggestions because the department resources are limited. The faculty member preferences are also considered in the assignment of sections for the sake of lessening disappointments in the department. Also, the couples (faculty, section) are planned into university timeslots based on faculty member preferences. Our proposed system considers student suggestions and preferences and the time availability of a faculty member since it minimizes disappointments and avoids conflicts between faculty members and classrooms and courses.


0

Impacts of information quality on decision-making

Published in: Global Business and Economics Review

Jan 01, 2019

/ zina houhamdi / Belkacem Athamena

Prior investigations have pointed out that an understanding of the impacts of information quality is essential to the organisation's success. Nevertheless, few investigations have analysed the impacts of information quality in a business context. This paper analyses the impacts of information quality on the decision-making process in a systematic way. To reach this goal, we suggest a pragmatic approach that allows estimation of information quality categories and dimensions. The results of the proposed approach indicate that intrinsic and contextual categories of information quality affect decision quality in a positive manner. On the other hand, decision quality is not necessarily influenced by representational category of the information quality. Additionally, the findings suggest that, contrary to consistency, increased information completeness and accuracy significantly improves the quality of the decision. Consequently, not all of the categories of information quality have the same effectiveness for the amelioration of decision quality.


0

An Exception Management Model in Multi-Agents Systems

Published in: Journal of Computer Science

Mar 01, 2017

/ Belkacem Athamena / zina houhamdi

Multi-Agents Systems (MAS) are modern approaches that need an additional investigation to improve their reliability and adaptability levels. Exception management is one way to reach this goal and this paper is dedicated to this specific subject. The purpose of this document is to examine the exception concept in MAS domain and to suggest a model adjusted to MAS challenges such as heterogeneity, openness and particularly agents' autonomy. Previous attempts in the agent's society have concluded set of findings that demonstrated the necessity of exception handling in MAS at the system level. The handling includes management and the needed processes related to management. The attainment up to now can be applied only to special MAS type. Usually, agents are non-autonomous and the system-level strategies need an impeccable cooperation between agents in the exception handling process. In our proposed model, the agent's ability to approach exceptions by itself is considered as a prerequisite to assure agent autonomy. Then, exception handling depends on agent-level processes to deal with the limitations of contemporary attainments and thus, they are complementary. Agent preserves the ability to independently decide when to activate exception handling and when to receive system-level help or believe in its skills.


0

Data freshness evaluation in data integration systems

Published in: International Journal of Economics and Business Research

Apr 01, 2016

/ zina houhamdi / Belkacem Athamena

The availability of data in different datasources increases highly the demand on accessing this data in a uniform and generalised way, especially in decision making applications which require an exhaustive investigation and examination of the data. The data quality represents an essential characteristic requested by the users, particularity with the arrival of the data integration systems (DIS) which integrate data from multiple datasources and present them to the users as single database. This paper discusses the data quality evaluation in DIS systems. Precisely, it addresses the issues of the quality evaluation of the data delivered to the end users as results to their queries and the verification of the achievement of users' quality expectations. Besides, it analyses how to improve the DIS systems by using quality scales and to enforce data quality. We propose to study one quality attribute, to analyse its effect in a DIS system, and to suggest methods for its assessment. Between the quality attributes that have been defined, this paper investigates the more significant one which is data freshness.


0

INFORMATION QUALITY FRAMEWORK

Published in: Global Business & Economics Anthology

Sep 01, 2015

/ zina houhamdi / Belkacem Athamena

This paper discusses a general, meaningful and repeated problem in information systems practice: under investment in the client information quality. Many organizations need precise financial models so as to initiate investments in their information systems and associated processes. Nevertheless, there are no broadly recognized strategies to accurately combining the expenses and profits of potential quality enhancement to client information. This can result in inadequate quality client information which influences the organizational goals. Further, the absence of such a strategy impedes the ability for Information System (IS) developers to discuss the investing case in betterments since the organizational resources access is dependent on such a case being made. To address this problem, we propose and assess a structure for generating financial models of the expenses and profits of client information quality. These models can be exploited to select and prioritize from various candidate interventions across multiple client processes and information resources, and to set up a business case for the society to make the investment. As the work tried to provide and evaluate an artifact instead of answer a question, design science was identified as the most suitable research approach. With design science, utility of a conceived artifact is precisely established as the goal rather than the theory truth. So instead of following a process of expressing and answering a sequence of research questions, design science develops by constructing and evaluating an artifact. In this case, the framework is built as an abstract artifact, incorporating models, measures and a method.


0

Particle swarm optimization of an extended Kalman filter for speed and rotor flux estimation of an induction motor drive

Published in: Electrical Engineering

Jun 01, 2015

/ Belkacem Athamena

A novel method based on a combination of the extended Kalman filter with particle swarm optimization (PSO) to estimate the speed and rotor flux of an induction motor drive is presented. The proposed method will be performed in two steps. As a first step, the covariance matrices of state noise and measurement noise will be optimized in an off-line manner by the PSO algorithm. As a second step, the optimal values of the above covariance matrices are injected in our speed–rotor flux estimation loop (on-line). Computer simulations of the speed and rotor flux estimation have been performed to investigate the effectiveness of the proposed method. Simulations and comparison with genetic algorithms show that the results are very encouraging and achieve good performances.


0

A Petri Net Based Multi-Agent System Behavioral Testing

Published in: Modern Applied Science

Mar 01, 2012

/ Belkacem Athamena / zina houhamdi

In Multi-Agent System (MAS), developers concentrate on creating design models and evolving them, from higher level models to lower level models, in several steps. Considerable part of MAS implementations is automatically produced from the design models. If a design model contains faults, they are passed to the generated implementations. Practical model validation techniques are required to discover and delete faults in abstract design models. In this paper, we introduce a formal approach for MAS design testing. It specifies a testing process that complements Multi-agent Systems Engineering (MaSE) methodology and strengthens the mutual relationship between UML and MAS. Besides, it defines a structured and comprehensive testing process for engineering software agents at the design level by providing a systematic way of converting the MAS design models to UML design diagram. Then a Petri Net (PN) diagram is generated from the UML models to simulate the behavior of the MAS system. Finally, because Petri Nets (PNs) are formal models, their analysis techniques can be applied to automatic MAS behavioral testing.


0

Structured Acceptance Test Suite Generation Process for Multi-Agent System

Published in: Computer and Information Science

Jan 01, 2012

/ Belkacem Athamena / zina houhamdi

In recent years, Agent-Oriented Software Engineering (AOSE) methodologies are proposed to develop complex distributed systems based upon the agent paradigm. The implementation for such systems has usually the form of Multi-Agent Systems (MAS). Testing of MAS is a challenging task because these systems are often programmed to be autonomous and deliberative, and they operate in an open world, which requires context awareness. In this paper, we introduce a novel approach for goal-oriented software acceptance testing. It specifies a testing process that complements the goal oriented methodology Tropos and strengthens the mutual relationship between goal analysis and testing. Furthermore, it defines a structured and comprehensive acceptance testing process for engineering software agents by providing a systematic way of deriving test cases from goal analysis.


0

Structured integration test suite generation process for multi-agent system

Published in: Journal of Computer Science

May 01, 2011

/ zina houhamdi / Belkacem Athamena

Problem statement: In recent years, Agent-Oriented Software Engineering (AOSE) methodologies are proposed to develop complex distributed systems based upon the agent paradigm. The implementation for such systems has usually the form of Multi-Agent Systems (MAS). Testing of MAS is a challenging task because these systems are often programmed to be autonomous and deliberative and they operate in an open world, which requires context awareness. Approach: We introduce a novel approach for goal-oriented software integration testing. It specifies an integration testing process that complements the goal oriented methodology Tropos and strengthens the mutual relationship between goal analysis and testing. Results: The derived test suites from the system goals can be used to observe emergent properties resulting from agent interactions and make sure that a group of agents and contextual resources work correctly together. Conclusion: This approach defines a structured and comprehensive integration test suite derivation process for engineering software agents by providing a systematic way of deriving test cases from goal analysis.


0

Structured system test suite generation process for multi-agent system

Published in: International Journal on Computer Science and Engineering

Apr 01, 2011

/ zina houhamdi / Belkacem Athamena

In recent years, Agent-Oriented Software Engineering (AOSE) methodologies are proposed to develop complex distributed systems based upon the agent paradigm. The implementation for such systems has usually the form of Multi-Agent Systems (MAS). MAS’testing is a challenging task because these systems are often programmed to be autonomous and deliberative, and they operate in an open world, which requires context awareness. In this paper, we introduce a novel approach for goal-oriented software system testing. It specifies a testing process that complements the goal oriented methodology Tropos and reinforces the mutual relationship between goal analysis and testing. Furthermore, it defines a structured and comprehensive system test suite derivation process for engineering software agents by providing a systematic way of deriving test cases from goal analysis.


0 Full-text Available

From graphical user interface to domain class diagram: a reverse engineering approach

Published in: Journal of Theoretical & Applied Information Technology

Feb 15, 2011

/ Belkacem Athamena

Abstract The Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) of software products are extensively used by researchers and practitioners in Software Engineering field. For Example, they are used for testing, measuring usability, and many other purposes. This paper describes a new reverse engineering approach to transform the GUI into class diagram. However, the correctness of such transformation process is essential for the corrected execution of the overall software. To assure this correctness, the interpreted Petri nets models will be implemented on the proposed transformation processes (ie capturing, normalization, and translation processes).


0

Fault detection and isolation in dynamic systems using statistical local approach and hybrid least squares algorithm

Published in: American Journal of Applied Sciences

Dec 01, 2007

/ Belkacem Athamena

A fault detection and isolation (FDI) scheme for dynamic system proposed. This study deals with the design of discrete-time linear system using delta operator approach and the hybrid least squares (HLS) algorithm. A third residual generation based on statistical local approach and the derivative of the normalized residual on a small temporal window investigated. This new technique meets the desired FDI performance specifications by increasing the faults magnitude and decreasing the noise effects. Some simulation results were provided to evaluate the design.


0

Fault detection and isolation using hybrid parameter estimation and fuzzy logic residual evaluation

Published in: Informatica

Feb 11, 2002

/ Belkacem Athamena

Fault diagnosis has become an issue of primary importance in modern process automation as it provides the prerequisites for the task of fault detection. The ability to detect the faults is essential to improve reliability and security of a complex control system. When a physical parameter change due to failure has occurred in a system, the failure effect will hardly be visible in the output performance. Since the failure, effect is reflected as a change in the predictor model. In this paper we describe a completed feasibility study demonstrating the merit of employing hybrid parameter-estimation and fuzzy logic for fault diagnosis. In this scheme, the residual generation is obtained from input-output data process, and identification technique based on ARX model, and the residual evaluation is based on fuzzy logic adaptive threshold method. The proposed fault detection and isolation tool has been tested on a magnetic levitation vehicle system.