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Team Coordination

Finally, team coordination is difficult to achieve in the face of the possibility that autonomous team members may not agree on the <time-stamped-team-strategy> or the mapping from teammates to roles within the team strategy. Again, there should be no disastrous results should team members temporarily adopt different strategies; however they should always do their best to stay coordinated. One method of coordination is via the locker-room agreement. Agents could agree on globally accessible environmental cues as triggers for switches in team strategy. Another method of coordination which complements this first approach is via the time stamp. When hearing a message from a teammate indicating that the team strategy is different from the agent's current idea of the team strategy, the agent adopts the more recent team strategy: if the received message's team strategy has a time-stamp that is more recent than that on the agent's current team strategy, it switches; otherwise it keeps the same team strategy and informs its teammate of the change. Thus changes in team strategy can quickly propagate through the team.

The <selected-internal-state> can also be used to facilitate team coordination by helping to keep the team members up-to-date regarding each other's status. Due to bandwidth constraints, it should not in general be an agent's entire internal state. However it might indicate the role that the agent is currently filling within the team strategy and any other particularly useful information as determined during the locker-room agreement.

Peter Stone
Mon Nov 24 11:31:14 EST 1997