A Framework for Problem Solving Activities in Multi-Agent Systems

D. C. Han, T. H. Liu, and K. S. Barber, University of Texas at Austin

The basic research issues in multi-agent systems (MAS) include problem decomposition, task distribution, communication, plan synthesis, coordination, conflict resolution, and organization design. For practical implementation, there is a need for an integrated framework that can help MAS designers to select appropriate techniques for building their specific systems. Difficulties in the integration of techniques for each of these issues is due to the interdependencies among the issues themselves. We propose a framework that describes the activities that occur during problem solving. This framework is based upon the premise that meta-level reasoning about the agents’ activities adds flexibility to each agent, allowing them to adjust to changes in their environments or operating conditions.

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