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Local or global perspective

Another issue to consider when building a multiagent system is how much sensor information should be available to the agents. Even if it is feasible within the domain to give the agents a global perspectives of the world, it may be more effective to limit them to local views.

Roychowdhury et al. consider a case of multiple agents sharing a set of identical resources in which they have to learn (adapt) their resource usage policies [67]. Since the agents are identical and do not communicate, if they all have a global view of the current resource usage, they will all move simultaneously to the most under-used resource. However, if they each see a partial picture of the world, then different agents gravitate towards different resources: a preferable effect. Better performance by agents with less knowledge is occasionally summarized by the cliche ``Ignorance is Bliss.''

Peter Stone
Wed Sep 24 11:54:14 EDT 1997