In artificial intelligence
research, agent-based systems technology has been hailed as
a new paradigm for conceptualizing, designing, and implementing
software systems. Agents are sophisticated computer programs
that act autonomously on behalf of their users, across open
and distributed environments, to solve a growing number of
complex problems. Increasingly, however, applications require
multiple agents that can work together. A multi-agent system
(MAS) is a loosely coupled network of software agents that
interact to solve problems that are beyond the individual
capacities or knowledge of each problem solver.
a Multi-Agent Approach
An MAS has the following advantages over a single agent or
- An MAS distributes
computational resources and capabilities across a network
of interconnected agents. Whereas a centralized system may
be plagued by resource limitations, performance bottlenecks,
or critical failures, an MAS is decentralized and thus does
not suffer from the "single point of failure" problem associated
with centralized systems.
- An MAS allows
for the interconnection and interoperation of multiple existing
legacy systems. By building an agent wrapper around such
systems, they can be inporporated into an agent society.
- An MAS models
problems in terms of autonomous interacting component-agents,
which is proving to be a more natural way of representing
task allocation, team planning, user preferences, open environments,
and so on.
- An MAS efficiently
retrieves, filters, and globally coordinates information
from sources that are spatially distributed.
- An MAS provides
solutions in situations where expertise is spatially and
- An MAS enhances
overall system performance, specifically along the dimensions
of computational efficiency, reliability, extensibility,
robustness, maintainability, responsiveness, flexibility,
of Multi-Agent Research
MAS applications cover a variety of domains, including
We are currently
interested in interagent communication and coordination, and
are building reusable multi-agent applications that facilitate
interaction among different kinds of agent systems.