Dorothy L. Mammen and Victor R. Lesser
We present here a distributed problem-solving testbed, which we use for experimental analysis of the relationships among distributed problem structure, inter-agent communication and coordination strategies, and problem-solving performance. Distributed problems in our system are represented as distributed CSPs. The testbed consists of two parameterized components: (1) a problem generator, for the creation of distributed CSPs in specific classes with respect to distributed problem structure, and (2) multi-agent problem solver, capable of employing various communication, coordination and local problem-solving strategies. We are beginning to use this system to evaluate hypotheses about the performance of different strategies for communication of partial subproblem results as a function of distributed problem structure.