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Environments in Multiagent Systems

Danny Weyns, Michael Schumacher, Alessandro Ricci, Mirko Viroli, Tom Holvoet
There is a growing awareness in the multiagent systems research community that the environment plays a prominent role in multiagent systems. Originating from research on behavior-based agent systems and situated multiagent systems, the importance of the environment is now gradually being accepted in the multiagent system community in general. In this paper, we put forward the environment as a first-order abstraction in multiagent systems. This position is motivated by the fact that several aspects of multiagent systems that conceptually do not belong to agents themselves should not be assigned to, or hosted inside the agents. Examples are infrastructure for communication, the topology of a spatial domain or support for the action model. These and other aspects should be considered explicitly. The environment is the natural candidate to encapsulate these aspects. We elaborate on environment engineering, and we illustrate how the environment plays a central role in a real-world multiagent system application.
The Knowledge Engineering Review 20(2), pages 127-141, June 2005, Cambridge University Press
	Author = {Weyns, Danny and Schumacher, Michael and Ricci, Alessandro and Viroli, Mirko and Holvoet, Tom},
	Doi = {10.1017/S0269888905000457},
	Editor = {Omicini, Andrea and McBurney, Peter},
	Issn = {0269-8889},
	Issn-Online = {1469-8005},
	Journal = {The Knowledge Engineering Review},
	Month = jun,
	Note = {Special Issue ``{R}evised Reports from Selected {T}echnical {F}orum {G}roups at the 1st \& 2nd {A}gent{L}ink {III} {T}echnical {F}orums''},
	Number = 2,
	Pages = {127--141},
	Publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
	Title = {Environments in Multiagent Systems},
	Url = {http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0269888905000457},
	Volume = 20,
	Year = 2005}