International Journal of Agent-Oriented Software Engineering (13 papers in press)
BathTUB Team Description Multi-Agent Programming Contest 2016
by Axel Heßler
Abstract: Team BathTUB reports on their approach to the complex scenario of multi-modal logistics in the agent programming contest 2016. The solution has been created by beginners in multi-agent programming using the JIAC agent framework.
Keywords: Agent-Oriented Software Engineering; Multi-Agent Programming; Multi-Modal Logistics; JIAC.
Improving Plan Execution Robustness through Capability Aware Maintenance of Plans by BDI Agents
by Alan White, Austin Tate, Michael Rovatsos
Abstract: In a realistic environment, intentions of Belief-Desire-Intention (BDI) agents may be threatened by the impact of exogenous change. Subsequent activity failure may incur debilitative consequences which hinder both recovery and subsequent goal achievement. CAMP-BDI (Capability Aware, Maintaining Plans) embodies BDI agents with capability knowledge, allowing anticipation of threats to activity success and stimulating proactive, preventative modification of intended plans. We describe resultant agent-level algorithms and supporting architecture, including extension to provide decentralized, distributed maintenance through structured messaging. Our results show superior goal achievement to a reactive equivalent in a stochastic environment, increasing with the likelihood of debilitative failure effects. We suggest CAMP-BDI offers a valuable approach towards robustness, particularly if employed in tandem with reactive methods.
Keywords: Agents; BDI; Plan Execution Robustness; Maintenance; Multiagent Teamwork; Belief-Desire-Intention; Planning; Capability; Robustness.
Special Issue on: EMAS 2015 Agent-based System Engineering
Modeling Agent Oriented Solutions for the SmartGrid
by Jorge J. Gomez-Sanz, Sandra Garcia-Rodriguez, Nuria Cuartero-Soler
Abstract: This paper contributes with an decentralised agent design for a Microgrid that uses agent technology for avoiding dumping the excess of energy to a main powerline. The agent design is made with INGENIAS. The agents connect with a Microgrid simulator, the SGSimulator, and issue commands to control different distributed renewable energy sources. The paper illustrates the benefits of coordination of agents in such scenario through a simple token based protocol.
Keywords: AOSE; SmartGrid; Design; Microgrid; Coordination.
Quantitative analysis of multi-agent systems through statistical verification of simulation traces
by Benjamin Herd, Simon Miles, Peter McBurney, Michael Luck
Abstract: Due to their immense complexity, large-scale multiagent systems are often not amenable to exhaustive formal verification. Statistical approaches that focus on the verification of individual traces can provide an interesting alternative. However, due to its focus on finite execution paths, trace-based verification is inherently limited to certain types of correctness properties. We show how, by combining sampling with the idea of trace fragmentation, statistical verification can be used to answer interesting quantitative correctness questions about multiagent systems at different observational levels. The usefulness of the verification approach is illustrated with a simple case study from the area of swarm robotics.
Keywords: Multiagent systems; Agent-based simulation; Verification; Statistical model checking; Quantitative analysis.
An Agent Programming Manifesto
by Brian Logan
Abstract: There has been considerable progress in both the theory and practice of agent programming since Georgeff & Rao's seminal work on the Belief-Desire-Intention paradigm. However, despite increasing interest in the development of autonomous systems, applications of agent programming are confined to a small number of niche areas, and adoption of agent programming languages in mainstream software development remains limited. This state of affairs is widely acknowledged within the community, and a number of reasons and remedies have been proposed. In this paper, I present an analysis of why agent programming has failed to make an impact that is rooted in the class of programming problems agent programming sets out to solve, namely the realisation of flexible intelligent behaviour in dynamic and unpredictable environments. Based on this analysis, I outline some suggestions for the future direction of agent programming, and some principles that I believe any successful future direction must follow. rn
Keywords: intelligent agents; belief-desire-intention; BDI; agent programming.
Special Issue on: IJAOSE MAPC 2016 Agents in the City
Team PUCRS: a Decentralised Multi-Agent Solution for the Agents in the City Scenario
by Rafael C. Cardoso, Ramon Fraga Pereira, Guilherme Krzisch, Maurício C. Magnaguagno, Túlio Baségio, Felipe Meneguzzi
Abstract: The 2016 edition of the Multi-Agent Programming Contest used the Agents in the City as its new scenario, which consisted on the execution of various logistics tasks within a realistic city topology using a number of different vehicle types. The complexity of the scenario and variety of tasks posed a challenging problem suitable for a decentralised multi-agent solution. In this paper we describe the winning solution for the contest, providing insights into how we designed our solution and organised our team, as well as some discussion on a few of our matches.
Keywords: Multi-Agent Programming Contest; Decentralised Multi-Agent Systems; Agents in the City; Contract Net Protocol; JaCaMo.
The Flisvos-2016 multi-agent system
by Evangelos Sarmas
Abstract: This paper presents the workings of the Flisvos-2016 multi-agent system that participated in the Multi-Agent Programming Contest MAPC 2016 of Clausthal TU.
Keywords: Flisvos; multi-agent system; multi-agent programming; contest; MAPC.
Multi-Agent Programming Contest 2016
by Tobias Ahlbrecht, Niklas Fiekas, Jürgen Dix
Abstract: We present the eleventh edition of the Multi-Agent Programming Contest, an annual, community-serving competition that attracts groups from all over the world. Our contest enables head-to-head comparison of multi-agent systems and supports educational efforts in their design and implementation. The long-term aim is to evaluate the specific features of agent programming languages and to compare them to more traditional languages.
Keywords: multi-agent systems; programming contest; multi-agent simulation;.
Multi-Agent Programming Contest 2016 - The Python-DTU Team
by Jørgen Villadsen, Andreas Halkjær From, Salvador Jacobi, Nikolaj Nøkkentved Larsen
Abstract: We provide a detailed description of the Python-DTU system, including the overall system design and the tools used in the agent contest.
Keywords: Multi-Agent Systems; MAS Programming; Contest.
Multi-Agent Programming Contest 2016: lampe Team Description
by Philipp Czerner, Jonathan Pieper
Abstract: In this paper we describe our participation in the 2016 edition of the Multi-Agent Programming Contest as team 'lampe', which was developed in C++ without the use of any agent-specific technology. It utilizes a centralised approach focusing on planning a job's completion in advance.
Keywords: Multi-Agent Programming Contest; MAPC; multi-agent systems; MAS.
Special Issue on: PRIMA 2015 Trends in Multi-Agent Programming and Applications
Aggregate Plans for Multiagent Systems
by Mirko Viroli, Danilo Pianini, Alessandro Ricci, Angelo Croatti
Abstract: We introduce the notion of aggregate plan, as a specification of the collective behaviour of a team of agents embedded in space. Aggregate plans are managed by self-organisation: they can be spread from a source agent, get iteratively diffused to the whole MAS, and be dynamically selected and carried on by each agent based on its local deliberation process. This approach is rooted on the aggregate computing paradigm, recently introduced to address open, dynamic, and large-scale scenarios of pervasive computing and IoT. We define the approach, describe the underlying computational mechanisms, discuss its expressiveness, and present an example of people rescuing in disaster scenarios.
Keywords: aggregate computing; multiagent planning; distributed spatial systems.
Agent-based Modeling of Coalition Formation in Energy Micro-grids
by Muhammad Yasir, Martin Purvis, Maryam Purvis, Bastin Tony Roy Savarimuthu
Abstract: The concept of electric energy micro-grids, in which communities share their locally-generated power, is receiving greater attention day by day. Intrinsic to this idea of energy micro-grids is that the energy is generated and consumed locally from intermittent renewable energy sources. Because of the variability of renewable resources, though, sometimes there are energy surpluses (supply is more than demand) and sometimes deficits (supply is less than demand). The ill effects of this variation in energy supply can be reduced by trading energy by means of a connected electricity grid. However, in our work we introduce the idea of forming coalitions of communities since mainline electricity grids are subject to faults and other outages. Locally connected energy micro-grids, however, can withstand these outages by sharing energy among themselves. Thus we present a model for the dynamic formation of such micro-grid coalitions. This model is scalable and affords autonomy among the micro-grids participating in the coalition. Thus individual micro-grids, which are modelled as autonomous agents, can join and depart from coalitions at any time. Our model proposes such methods in order to reduce overall discomfort" (a notion defined in the paper), so that, even when all participating micro-grids in a coalition experience deficits, they can share energy so that their overall discomfort is minimized. We present empirical studies with real energy production and consumption data to validate the workability of our model.
Keywords: Renewable Energy; Multi-agent Systems; Coalition Formation; Micro-grids;.
Developing ePartners for Human-Robot Teams in Space based on Ontologies and Formal Abstraction Hierarchies
by Tibor Bosse, Jurriaan Van Diggelen, Mark Neerincx, Nanja Smets, Joaquim Rosa, Leo Breebaart
Abstract: Manned space missions are typically performed by teams composed of humans as well as technical systems, and are situated in complex, dynamic, and safety-critical domains. Intelligent electronic partners (ePartners) can play an important role here to support human-robot teams in their collaborative problem solving process when things do not go as planned. To engage in effective team collaboration, ePartners, humans, and robots must align their communication at the right level of abstraction. In this paper, an approach is put forward to represent the functionality of human-robot teams in a formal manner using abstraction hierarchies. In this way, formal relations between domain knowledge at the system, functional, and mission-oriented levels are established and reasoning rules are used to navigate through these relations. As a consequence, ePartners are equipped with the ability to reason about the status of a mission, propose solutions in non-nominal situations, and provide explanations for the proposed solutions. The approach has been implemented within a mobile application on a tablet that can be used to support astronaut-robot teams during space missions. The application has been evaluated during an experiment at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the context of a Mars mission.
Keywords: ePartners; human-robot teams; abstraction hierarchy; reasoning; space missions.