Problem solving in federative environments: The FRESCO concept of cooperative agents

  • Kirn Stefan 
  • Scherer Andreas 
  • Schlageter Gunter 
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 611)


Today's expert systems lack capabilities to efficiently deal with large, complex and heterogeneous knowledge bases. This limitation stimulates to develop systems of distributed problem solvers. To study the problems arising from the cooperation of complex knowledge based agents we developed FRESCO, a federative expert system in banking. First, we introduce the FRESCO agent model. Then, based on a cybernetic model we discuss the agents' individual collaborative behavior. This approach adds cooperation ability to the agents and provides a basis applying DAI-methods to distributed knowledge based systems.


competence assessment contract net collaboration cooperation cooperative problem solving federative expert system FRESCO multiagent system 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [AlOt 83]
    Albert, J.; Ottmann, Th.: Automata, Languages and Machines for End-User, Mannheim, Wien, Zürich 1983 (in german).Google Scholar
  2. [Bond 88]
    Bond, A.; Gasser, L.: Readings in Distributed Artificial Intelligence, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Mateo, CA, 1988.Google Scholar
  3. [Clan 85]
    Clancey, W.: Heuristic Classification, AI-Journal 27, 1985, pp. 289.Google Scholar
  4. [Conr 86]
    Conry, S.E.; Meyer, R.A.; Lesser, V.R.: Multistage Negotiation in Distributed Planning, in [Bond 88].Google Scholar
  5. [Crem 88]
    Cremers, A.B.; Geisselhardt, W.: Expert Systems Proceedings, Symposium, Univ. of Duisburg, Federal Republic of Germany, February, 18–20, 1988, Duisburg 1988 (in german).Google Scholar
  6. [Davi 83]
    Davis, R.; Smith, R.G.: Negotiation as a Metaphor for Distributed Problem Solving, AI 20(1), 1983, pp. 63.Google Scholar
  7. [Deen 88]
    Deen, S.M.: Research Issues in Federated Knowledge Based Systems, British Computer Society Workshop Series: Research and Development in XPS V, Proceedings of XPS, Cambridge 1988.Google Scholar
  8. [Durf 87]
    Durfee, E.H.; Lesser, V.R.: Using Partial Global Plans to Coordinate Distributed Problem Solvers, IJCAI 1987, pp. 875.Google Scholar
  9. [Ferb 89]
    Ferber, J.: Eco Problem Solving: How to Solve a Problem by Interactions, 9th DAI-Workshop, Rosario Texas, 1989, pp. 113.Google Scholar
  10. [FiGa 87]
    Findler, N.V.; Gao, J.: Dynamic Hierarchical Control for Distributed Problem Solving, Data & Knowledge Engineering 2(1987) pp. 285–301.Google Scholar
  11. [Geor 84]
    Georgeff, M.P.: A Theory of Action for MultiAgent Planning, Proc. of the 1984 Conf. on AAAI, pp. 121.Google Scholar
  12. [Kirn 91]
    Kirn, St.: Cooperation Ability of Intelligent Agents in Federative Knowledge Based Systems, FernUniversität Hagen, PhD thesis, Hagen 1991 (in german).Google Scholar
  13. [KiSc91a]
    Kirn, St.; Schlageter, G.: Competence Evaluation in Federative Problem Solving — How to Make Expert Systems Cooperative, Proc. of the 11th Conf. on 2nd Generation Expert Systems, Avignon, France, May 28–31,1991.Google Scholar
  14. [KiSc 91b]
    Kirn, St.; Schlageter, G.: Federated Expert Systems: Concepts and Implementation, in Deen, M. (ed.): Cooperating Knowledge Based Systems, Springer Verlag, 1991.Google Scholar
  15. [Klah 86]
    Klahr, P.; Waterman, D.A.: Expert Systems-Tools, Techniques and Applications, Addison Wesley, Reading (Mass.) et. al., 1986.Google Scholar
  16. [Klet 89]
    Klett, G.: Cooperating Expert Systems with Contract Net-Architecture and Their Use in Chemical Applications, PhD thesis, Hagen 1989 (in german).Google Scholar
  17. [KSWu90A]
    Kirn, St.; Schlageter, G.; Wu, X.: Meta-Knowledge over the Competence of Federative Expert Systems, FernUniversität Hagen, Computer Science Reports No. 89, 1/1990, Hagen 1989 (in german).Google Scholar
  18. [KSWu 90B]
    Kirn, St.; Schlageter, G.; Wu, X.: Expert Systems in Federative Environments: A Problem Analysis, FernUniversität Hagen, Computer Science Reports No. 90, 2/1990 (in german).Google Scholar
  19. [Lâas 91]
    Lâasri, B.; Lâasri, H., Lesser, V.R.: An Analysis of Negotiations and Its Role For Coordinating Cooperative Distributed Problem Solvers, Proc. of the 11th Conf. on 2nd Generation Expert Systems, Avignon, France, May 28–31,1991.Google Scholar
  20. [Less 81]
    Lesser, V.R.; Corkill, D.D.: Functionally Accurate, Cooperative Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, SMC-11(1), January 1981, pp. 81.Google Scholar
  21. [Nava 90]
    Navathe, S.B.; Gala, S.K.; Geum, S.: Federated Information Bases: A Loosely Coupled Integration of Database Systems and Application Subsystems, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville FL 32611, Technical Report, 1990.Google Scholar
  22. [Pupp 88]
    Puppe, F.: Introduction to Expert Systems, Berlin 1988 (in german).Google Scholar
  23. [Rose 85]
    Rosenschein, J.S.; Genesereth, M.R.: Deals Among Rational Agents, IJCAI 85, pp. 91.Google Scholar
  24. [ScKl 88]
    Schlageter, G.; Klett, G.: Federative Knowledge Based Systems, in [Crem 88], pp. 204.Google Scholar
  25. [Shet 90]
    Sheth, A.P.; Larson, J.A.: Federated Database Systems for Managing Distributed, Heterogeneous and Autonomous Databases, Bellcore, Tech. Report TM-STS-016302, Piscataway NJ., 1990, also published in ACM Computing Survey, 9/1990.Google Scholar
  26. [SMCN 86]
    Steeb, R.; McArthur, D.J.; Cammarata, S.; Narain, S.; Giarla, W.D.: Distributed Problem Solving for Air Fleet Control: Framework and Implementation, in [Klah 86], pp. 391.Google Scholar
  27. [Smit 79]
    Smith, R.G.: A Framework for Distributed Problem Solving, IJCAI 1979, pp. 836.Google Scholar
  28. [Smit 80]
    Smith, R.G.: The Contract Net Protocol: High Level Communication and Control in a Distributed Problem Solver, IEEE Transactions on Computers, Vol. C-29, No. 12, December 1980.Google Scholar
  29. [Stef 82]
    Stefik, M. et. al.: The Organization of Expert Systems — A Tutorial, AI Journal 18, 1982, pp. 135, in: Hayes-Roth, F.; Waterman, D.; Lenat, D. (eds.): Building Expert Systems, Addison-Wesley, 1983.Google Scholar
  30. [VKDL 90]
    Voss, A.; Karbach, W.; Drouven, D.; Lorek, D.: Competence Assessment in Configuration Tasks, ECAI 1990, Stockholm, Sweden, August 6–10, 1990, pp. 676.Google Scholar
  31. [Wied 89]
    Wiederhold, G. et al.: Partitioning and Composing of Knowledge, Stanford University, Technical Report, 1989.Google Scholar
  32. [Ziel 89]
    Zielenziger, D.: Econometric Modelling For Traders on a Budget, Global Finance, pp. 70, 1989.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirn Stefan 
    • 1
  • Scherer Andreas 
    • 1
  • Schlageter Gunter 
    • 1
  1. 1.FernUniversität Hagen, Applied Computer Science IHagenGermany

Personalised recommendations