The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Joint Intentions as a Model of Multi-Agent Cooperation

Jennings, N. R. (1992) Joint Intentions as a Model of Multi-Agent Cooperation University of London, Dept of Elec Eng : University of London, Doctoral Thesis .

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)


Computer-based systems are being used to tackle increasingly complex problems in ever more demanding domains. The size and amount of knowledge needed by such systems means they are becoming unwieldy and difficult to engineer into reliable, consistent products. One paradigm for overcoming this barrier is to decompose the problem into smaller more manageable components which can communicate and cooperate at the level of sharing processing responsibilities and information. Until recently, research in multi-agent systems has been based on ad hoc models of action and interaction; however, the notion of intentions is beginning to emerge as a prime candidate upon which a sound theory could be based. This research develops a new model of joint intentions as a means of describing the activities of groups of agents working collaboratively. The model stresses the role of intentions in controlling agents? current and future actions; defining preconditions which must be satisfied before joint problem solving can commence and prescribing how individual agents should behave once it has been established. Such a model becomes especially important in dynamic environments in which agents may possess neither complete nor correct beliefs about their world or other agents, have changeable goals and fallible actions and be subject to interruption from external events. The theory has been implemented in a general purpose cooperation framework, called GRATE*, and applied to the real-world problem of electricity transportation management. In this application, individual problem solvers have to take decisions using partial, imprecise information and respond to an ever changing external world. This fertile environment enabled the quantitative benefits of the theory to be assessed and comparisons with other models of collaborative problem solving to be undertaken. These experiments highlighted the high degree of coherence attained by GRATE* problem solving groups, even in the most dynamic and unpredictable application contexts.

PDF nrj_thesis.pdf - Other
Download (893kB)

More information

Published date: August 1992
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity


Local EPrints ID: 256596
PURE UUID: ed3796a9-3186-42ba-9f82-2d6c78dfb2ca

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 29 May 2002
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 09:45

Export record


Author: N. R. Jennings

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.