Title: Designing self-organising environments with agents and artefacts: a simulation-driven approach

Authors: Luca Gardelli, Mirko Viroli, Matteo Casadei, Andrea Omicini

Addresses: Alma Mater Studiorum–Universita di Bologna, Via Venezia 52, 47023 Cesena, Italy. ' Alma Mater Studiorum–Universita di Bologna, Via Venezia 52, 47023 Cesena, Italy. ' Alma Mater Studiorum–Universita di Bologna, Via Venezia 52, 47023 Cesena, Italy. ' Alma Mater Studiorum–Universita di Bologna, Via Venezia 52, 47023 Cesena, Italy

Abstract: We propose a methodological approach for tackling the early design stages of self-organising Multiagent Systems (MASs). We adopt an architectural pattern based on the Agents and Artefacts (A&A) metamodel: self-organisation mechanisms are added to an existing environment of artefacts by embedding them into environmental agents. We rely on a three-stage design approach with modelling, simulation and tuning, so as to identify a suitable design of environmental agents and their interaction with artefacts. The main objective is to design a MAS environment providing services that self-organise in response to the unpredictable dynamics of the agents exploiting them. As a case study, we analyse the problem called collective sorting, a service for decentralised sorting of items in MAS environments that was inspired by social insects| behaviour: the proposed solution features environmental agents and tuple spaces, whose design choices and evaluation have been driven by formal simulations.

Keywords: collective sorting; self-organisation; emergence; simulation; tuning; patterns; multi-agent systems; MAS design; artefacts; agent-based systems; metamodelling; environmental agents; tuple spaces; social insects.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAOSE.2008.017314

International Journal of Agent-Oriented Software Engineering, 2008 Vol.2 No.2, pp.171 - 195

Published online: 26 Feb 2008 *

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