Incentive to Work: Deriving Cooperation Among Self-Interested Agents (Preliminary Report)

Eithan Ephrati, Motty Perry and Jeffrey S. Rosenschein

In this paper we analyse a particular model of control among intelligent agents, that of nonabaolute control. Non-absolute control involves a "supervisor" agent that issues orders to a group of "subordinate" agents. An example might be an Internet user who issues a query to a group of software agents on remote hosts, or a human agent on Earth directing the activities of Mars-based semi-autonomous vehicles. The members of the subordinate group are assumed to be self-motivated, and individually rational (i.e., they are basically willing to carry out the supervisor’s request if properly compensated). This assumption gives rise to the need for a reward policy that would motivate each agent to contribute to the group activity. In this paper we introduce such a policy under certain simplifying assumptions.

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