Towards Simulation-Aided Design of Multi-Agent Systems
With the growing complexity of multi-agent applications and environments in which they are deployed, there is a need for development techniques that would allow for early testing and validation of application design and implementation. This is particularly true in cases where the developed multi-agent application is to be closely integrated with an existing, real-world system of multi-agent nature.
Drawing upon our previous experiences with development of complex multi-agent applications, we propose simulation-aided design of multi-agent systems (SADMAS), a methodology tightly integrating simulations of the target system into the MAS application development process. In its heart lies the use of mixed-mode simulation, a simulation where parts of the deployed application operate in the target environment and parts remain simulated. We argue, that employing SADMAS process contributes to reduction of risks involved in development of complex MAS applications, as well as it helps to accelerate the process. Besides describing the capstones of the SADMAS approach and consequences of its application, we also illustrate it’s use on a case-study of a next-generation decentralised air traffic management system.
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