Publications » Cognitive Stigmergy: A Framework Based on Agents and Artifacts

Cognitive Stigmergy: A Framework Based on Agents and Artifacts

Alessandro Ricci, Andrea Omicini, Mirko Viroli, Luca Gardelli, Enrico Oliva
Stigmergy has been variously adopted in MASs (multi-agent systems) and in other fields as well—as a technique for realising forms of emergent coordination in societies composed by a large amount of typically simple, ant-like, non-rational agents. In this article we introduce a conceptual and engineering framework for exploring the use of stigmergy in the context of societies composed by cognitive / rational agents, as a means for supporting high-level, knowledge-based social activities. We refer to this kind of stigmergy as cognitive stigmergy. Cognitive stigmergy is based on the use of suitable engineered artifacts as tools populating the agent working environment, and which agents share and rationally use for their individual goals. Artifacts are first-class entities representing the environment that mediates agent interaction and enables emergent coordination: as such, they encapsulate and enact the stigmergic mechanisms and the shared knowledge upon which emergent coordination processes are based.

In this seminal paper, we introduce an agent-based framework for cognitive stigmergy based on artifacts. After discussing the main conceptual issues—the notion of cognitive stigmergy, the role of artifacts—, we sketch an abstract architecture for cognitive stigmergy, and we consider its implementation upon the TuCSoN agent coordination infrastructure.
3rd International Workshop “Environments for Multi-Agent Systems” (E4MAS 2006), pages 44-60, 8 May 2006.
Danny Weyns, H. Van Dyke Parunak, Fabien Michel (eds.), AAMAS 2006, Hakodate, Japan
	Address = {AAMAS 2006, Hakodate, Japan},
	Author = {Ricci, Alessandro and Omicini, Andrea and Viroli, Mirko and Gardelli, Luca and Oliva, Enrico},
	Booktitle = {3rd International Workshop ``Environments for Multi-Agent Systems'' (E4MAS 2006)},
	Editor = {Weyns, Danny and Parunak, H. Van Dyke and Michel, Fabien},
	Month = {8~} # may,
	Pages = {44--60},
	Title = {Cognitive Stigmergy: A Framework Based on Agents and Artifacts},
	Url = {},
	Year = 2006}