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AIC Seminar Series

Modeling and Designing Multi-Agent Systems Through Explicit Organizational Design

Bryan HorlingUniversity of Massachusetts[Home Page]

Date:  2005-03-31 at 11:00

Location:  EJ228  (Directions)

   Abstract

As the scale and scope of distributed and multi-agent systems grow, it becomes increasingly important to design and manage the manner in which the participants interact. The potential for bottlenecks, intractably large sets of coordination partners, and shared bounded resources can make individual and high-level goals difficult to achieve. To address these problems, many large systems employ an additional layer of structuring, known as an organizational design, that assigns agents particular and different roles, responsibilities and peers. These additional constraints can allow agents to operate effectively within a large-scale system, with little or no sacrifice in utility. Different designs applied to the same problem will have different performance characteristics, therefore it is important to understand and model the behavior of candidate designs. In this talk I will first introduce a domain-independent organizational design representation able to model and predict the quantitative performance characteristics of agent organizations. This representation, capable of capturing a wide range of multi-agent characteristics in a single, succint model, will support the selection of an appropriate design given a particular operational context. I will demonstrate the representational capabilities and efficacy of this language by comparing a range of metrics predicted by the models to previously obtained empirical results. I will then outline how these same models can help design agent organizations, through the application of appropriate search techniques over the modeled space.

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