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Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 89–111 | Cite as

Reflections on the Nature of Multi-Agent Coordination and Its Implications for an Agent Architecture

  • Victor R. Lesser
Article

Abstract

The development of enabling infrastructure for the next generation of multi-agent systems consisting of large numbers of agents and operating in open environments is one of the key challenges for the multi-agent community.Current infrastructure support does not materially assist in the development of sophisticated agent coordination strategies. It is the need for and the development of such a high-level support structure that will be the focus of this paper. A domain-independent (generic) agent architecture is proposed that wraps around an agent's problem-solving component in order to make problem solving responsive to real-time constraints, available network resources, and the need to coordinate—both in the large and small—with problem-solving activities of other agents. This architecture contains five components, local agent scheduling, multi-agent coordination, organizational design, detection and diagnosis, and on-line learning, that are designed to interact so that a range of different situation-specific coordination strategies can be implemented and adapted as the situation evolves. The presentation of this architecture is followed by a more detailed discussion on the interaction among these components and the research questions that need to be answered to understand the appropriateness of this architecture for the next generation of multi-agent systems.

coordination multi-agent architecture agent societies 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor R. Lesser
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentUniversity of MassachusettsAmherst

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