Real-Time Satisficing Multiagent Coalition Formation

Leen-Kiat Soh and Costas Tsatsoulis

In a multiagent system where each agent has only an incom-plete view of the world, optimal coalition formation is diffi-cult. Coupling that with real-time and resource constraints often makes the rationalization process infeasible or costly. We propose a coalition formation approach that identifies and builds sub-optimal yet satisficing coalitions among agents to solve a problem detected in the environment. All agents are peers and autonomous?each controlling a set of resources, monitoring a part of the world, and able to change the world through its actions. Each is motivated to conserve its own resources while cooperating with other agents to achieve a global task or resource allocation goal. The initiating agent?that detects a problem?hastily forms an ini-tial coalition by selecting neighboring agents that it consid-ers to have high potential utilities, based on the capability of each neighbor and its respective inter-agent relationships. The initiating agent next finalizes the coalition via multiple concurrent 1-to-1 negotiations with only neighbors of high potential utility, during which constraints and commitments are exchanged in an argumentation setting. Finally, the ini-tiating agent acknowledges the status of a coalition, a re-sponsible act that seals the validity of a planned coalition.

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