Multiagent Systems: Challenges and Opportunities for Decision-Theoretic Planning

  • Craig Boutilier


In this article, I describe several challenges facing the integration of two distinct lines of AI research: (1) decision-theoretic planning (DTP) and (2) multiagent systems. Both areas (especially the second) are attracting considerable interest, but work in multiagent systems often assumes either classical planning models or prespecified economic valuations on the part of the agents in question. By integrating models of DTP in multiagent systems research, more sophisticated multiagent planning scenarios can be accommodated, at the same time explaining precisely how agents determine their valuations for different sources or activities. I discuss several research challenges that emerge from this integration, involving the development of coordination protocols, the reasoning about lack of coordination, and the predicting of behavior in markets. I also briefly mention some opportunities afforded planning agents in multiagent settings and how these might be addressed.