Jennings, N. R.
Controlling Cooperative Problem Solving in Industrial Multi-Agent Systems using Joint Intentions
Artificial Intelligence, 75, (2), .
One reason why Distributed AI (DAI) technology has been deployed in relatively few real-size applications is that it lacks a clear and implementable model of cooperative problem solving which specifies how agents should operate and interact in complex, dynamic and unpredictable environments. As a consequence of the experience gained whilst building a number of DAI systems for industrial applications, a new principled model of cooperation has been developed. This model, called Joint Responsibility, has the notion of joint intentions at its core. It specifies pre-conditions which must be attained before collaboration can commence and prescribes how individuals should behave both when joint activity is progressing satisfactorily and also when it runs into difficulty. The theoretical model has been used to guide the implementation of a general purpose cooperation framework and the qualitative and quantitative benefits of this implementation have been assessed through a series of comparative experiments in the real-world domain of electricity transport management. Finally, the success of the approach of building a system with an explicit and grounded representation of cooperative problem solving is used to outline a proposal for the next generation of multi-agent systems.
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