Pavón belongs to the first Spanish generation to get official studies in Computer Science, during the eighties. He studied Computer Science at the Technical University of Madrid, graduating in 1985. Three years later, he obtained his PhD in this area with the thesis: "Synthesis of communication protocols from service specifications". While doing this thesis, he worked as assistant professor at the same university. Then, he joined Alcatel R&D, where he stayed for ten years. Afterwards, at the end of 1997 he got an associate professor position at UCM, and in 2006, he achieved the Habilitation à diriger des recherches qualification in Computer Science at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI) with the thesis "INGENIAS : Développement Dirigé par Modèles des Systèmes Multi-Agents" (in French).
After getting his PhD degree in Computer Science (1988) he decided to work in the industry and enrolled in Alcatel, as a systems engineer. His work in the R&D department of the company focused on the development of software component-based architectures for distributed systems, and its applications for multimedia services over broadband networks and new generation mobile phones. During the 10 years he worked for the company, he spent long periods in Alcatel centers outside Spain, in France (Lannion and Vélizy), Belgium (Namur and Antwerp). In this period, he also worked several years in the labs of Bellcore in Red Bank, New Jersey (USA), working in the TINA-C Core Team, and helping to produce architectural models for telecommunication services. As a result, he published several popular works.
He decided to return to the academic world and gained an associate professor position at the Computer Science School of the Complutense University of Madrid (1997). By then, he started working in Multi-Agent Systems (MAS) applying his acquired knowledge in distributed industrial projects. His work in MAS started with the Eurescom project P815 "Communications Management Process Integration Using Software Agents" (1999) working with Telefónica R+D. He continued working in several projects and bringing software engineering practices to MAS. The most relevant for the agent community is the Eurescom P907 "Methodology for Engineering Systems of Software Agents", where the MESSAGE methodology, one of the most significant software agent methodologies, was created.
Acknowledging the momentum in MAS, he decided in 2000 to establish the research group GRASIA for the research in Software Agents and Artificial Intelligence in the Complutense University of Madrid, a pioneer group of its kind in the country. He also held several management positions in the university, serving as Vice Dean for four years (1998–2002). Nowadays, he is full professor at the Universidad Complutense Madrid.
Pavón has been a pioneer in Software Agents and Agent-based simulation. His contributions in this area have been organized around the work done in the GRASIA research group, where the INGENIAS methodology has been one of the main outcomes, though not the only one. INGENIAS (Engineering for Software Agents) is a complete framework for the analysis, design and implementation of multi-agent systems (MAS).
His work on Software Agents started at the end of the 90's. Agents emerge those years as a new paradigm with promises of facilitating the development of complex distributed systems, a field where he had been working in previous years. His first project in the area was funded by Telefonica R+D, "Communications Management Process Integration Using Software Agents" (1999). These years, he participated in several projects where he gained experience on the issues relevant to engineering with this new paradigm. Given its later impact in the development of INGENIAS, three projects must be highlighted: "PSI3: Personalized Service Integration Using Software Agents" (5th European Framework Programme, IST-1999-11056), "MESSAGE: Methodology for Engineering Systems of Software AGEnts" (Eurescom P907) and "DEMOS: Delphi Mediation Online System" (5th European Framework Programme, IST-1999-20530). PSI3 was one of the first experiences in developing medium size applications using software agents, a work that continued in MESSAGE and DEMOS. MESSAGE incorporates preliminary works on the use of meta-models in software engineering, and DEMOS explored the internal processing models of agents to work with knowledge.
As a result of the research in these years, Jorge J. Gómez-Sanz published in 2002 his PhD thesis "A Methodology for the Development of Multi-Agent Systems" (in Spanish) advised by Francisco Garijo and Juan Pavón. This work constitutes the first version of the INGENIAS methodology and its meta-models. A first version of the INGENIAS Development Kit was forged at that time by Jorge J. Gomez-Sanz and Rubén Fuentes.
INGENIAS adopts since its inception a model-driven engineering (MDE) approach. Model-driven engineering (MDE) organizes developments around the specification of systems through models that are automatically transformed to generate other artefacts, e.g., code, tests, or documentation. INGENIAS follows these principles specifying the MAS meta-models that define its modeling language and allow generating automatically its development tools distributed as the INGENIAS Development Kit (IDK).
The INGENIAS approach based on MDE supports research in different areas characterized by the use of modeling languages and requiring flexibility to adapt these to new requirements. In particular, it has been very successful in the areas of Software Agents and Agent-based simulation.
INGENIAS development process has been one of the few processes of agent-oriented methodologies in having their development process formally specified with SPEM, a language of the Object Management Group (OMG). Currently, there is one development process based on the Unified Process and another based on Scrum.
The INGENIAS modeling language and the open-source tools for its application have made it one of the most popular methodologies in the literature and actually applied by researchers and engineers. It has been repeatedly included in relevant surveys and comparisons in the field. The open-source INGENIAS associated tools are also very successful in the agent community, as assessed by their number of downloads.
Agent-based social simulation
The level of maturity reached by the INGENIAS framework and related tools, mainly INGENME, in its application to Software Agents, allowed the GRASIA group to consider its application to other domains. Agent-based simulation has been one with an immediate application. As in Software Agents, agent-based simulation (ABS) relies on the concept of agent, in this case as the basic block to build computational simulations. The conceptual similarities between the concept of agent in both disciplines, and the suitability of models to work with simulations, made of agent-based simulation a sensible extension for INGENIAS work.
This line of research started in GRASIA with a direct application of the works in INGENIAS with software agents to ABS for the PhD thesis of Candelaria Sansores "A Methodology for the Study of Artificial Societies" (2007), which was advised by him as well. This work pointed out the suitability of applying the MDE approach of INGENIAS to this field, but also the problems of researchers without a background on Software Engineering to use INGENIAS. Moreover, these first attempts were oriented to simulations intended to verify behavioral principles described by well-known laws, but not to explore simulations based on the use of big amounts of raw data. This data-driven agent-based social simulation was the subject of the interdisciplinary PhD thesis of Samer Hassan "Towards a Data Driven Approach for Agent Based Modelling: Simulating Spanish Postmodernization", also advised by Juan Pavón.
The use of INGENIAS for ABS is based on the adoption of MDE to build simulations. This approach was developed and validated by GRASIA in different domains, e.g., urbanism and group work.
He has achieved multiple agreements with relevant research groups: ICAR-CNR, SenSysCal.it, INSISOC, SMAC. He also has a strong contact with the industry world: Telefonica R+D, Ibermática, Boeing Research and Technology Europe, or MindFields.
His topics of interest cover several disciplines, including simulation of complex systems, agent-oriented software engineering, and artificial intelligent applications.
Pavón joined the most relevant European research networks on Software Agents and Agent-based simulation: AgentLink and AgentCities, and has contributed to different international projects funded by the European Commission: VITAL, MOMOCS, PSI3, DEMOS, AGENTCITIES.NET.
He has worked on more than 30 projects, serving as leader in 20 of them, with government and private funding. He accounts more than 180 scientific publications, and an H-index of 24. He is a research consultant for dozens of committees and part of the editorial board of several journals in the field of computer science. He is member of the Spanish Association for Artificial Intelligence., the European Social Simulation Association, the FIPA board, the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology, the IEEE Computer Society, and scientific project evaluator of the European Commission.
In 2006 he received an honorary PhD from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (París 6).
His research group GRASIA has achieved some recognition through several awards:The AAMAS 2008 Best Academic Software Demo for INGENIAS.
Second prize in the contest Robotrader organized by the Technical University of Madrid 2012.
Selection by the IEEE Special Technical Community on Social Networks as featured article in October 2012.
Best paper award in the 19th edition of the Semantic Search Workshop 2010 of the World Wide Web Conference
Pavón is author of several books and more than 180 scientific articles on Software Agents, Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering. A selection:Pavón, Juan; Gómez-Sanz, Jorge; Fernández-Caballero, Antonio; Valencia-Jiménez, Julián J. (2007). "Development of intelligent multisensor surveillance systems with agents". Robotics and Autonomous Systems. 55 (12): 892–903. doi:10.1016/j.robot.2007.07.009. ISSN 0921-8890.