Hierarchical Decision Making in Multi-agent Systems Using Answer Set Programming

  • Davy Van Nieuwenborgh
  • Marina De Vos
  • Stijn Heymans
  • Dirk Vermeir
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4371)


We present a multi-agent formalism based on extended answer set programming. The system consists of independent agents connected via a communication channel, where knowledge and beliefs of each agent are represented by a logic program. When presented with an input set of literals from its predecessor, an agent computes its output as an extended answer set of its program enriched with the input, carefully eliminating contradictions that might occur.

It turns out that while individual agents are rather simple, the interaction strategy makes the system quite expressive: essentially a hierarchy of a fixed number of agents n captures the complexity class \({\sum^{P}_{n}}\), i.e. the n-th level of the polynomial hierarchy. Furthermore, unbounded hierarchies capture the polynomial hierarchy \({\mathcal{PH}}\). This makes the formalism suitable for modelling complex applications of MAS, for example cooperative diagnosis. Furthermore, such systems can be realized by implementing an appropriate control strategy on top of existing solvers such as dlv and smodels.


Logic Program Logic Programming Weak Constraint Stable Model Semantic Polynomial Hierarchy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davy Van Nieuwenborgh
    • 1
  • Marina De Vos
    • 2
  • Stijn Heymans
    • 3
  • Dirk Vermeir
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer Science, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, VUB, Pleinlaan 2, B1050 BrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Dept. of Computer Science, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AYUK
  3. 3.Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), University of InnsbruckAustria

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