E4MAS 2006

3rd International Workshop on Environments for Multiagent Systems

Hakodate, Japan, 08/05/2006
hosted by AAMAS 2006

The successful E4MAS workshops at AAMAS 2004 in New York and AAMAS 2005 in Utrecht have put environments on the research agenda of the multiagent systems community. As a result, the environment is now a focus of research in its own right. Research on environments recognizes the environment as a first-order abstraction in multiagent systems (MAS). On the one hand, the environment is an essential part of any MAS, it provides the surrounding conditions for agents to exist. Several aspects of MASs that are vital for agents do not belong to agents themselves but are part of the environment. Examples are infrastructure for communication and coordination (e.g. message passing, digital pheromones, etc.), the topology of a spatial domain, or support for an action model. On the other hand, the environment can also be used creatively in the design of multiagent systems. Agents can exploit the environment to share information and coordinate their behavior. A clean separation of agent and environment concerns helps to manage the huge complexity of engineering complex real-world applications such as supply chains systems, network management, manufacturing control and multiagent simulation.

The overall goals of the E4MAS workshop series are:

  1. to promote the environment as a first-order abstraction in MAS
  2. to provide a discussion forum on environments for MAS
  3. to expand the community of researchers and practitioners involved in environments for MAS
Topics of Interest
  • How to make a step forward in environments engineering ? So far, only a limited number of intial models for environments engineering have been proposed. Important issues to make progress in this domain are:
    • Modularization of environments
    • Reference models for environments
    • Architectural patterns for environments
    • Software architectures for environments
    • Aspect-oriented software development for environments
    • Description languages and design support for environments engineering
    • Middleware support for environments, object/tuplespace-like infrastructure
    • Technologies for the practical implementation of environments:
    • Implementation frameworks
    • Design and implementation of:
      • infrastructure for communication
      • environment-mediated/stigmergic coordination: use of marks, infrastructure for digital pheromones, field-based approaches, etc.
      • perception and (inter)action
      • topology and distribution of environments
      • mobility
    • Environments engineering and practical applications
    • Environments engineering for MAS simulation
  • To explore new potential uses of the environment. Several researches have demonstrated how the environment can be used creatively in the design of a MAS solution, helping to manage the complexity of building real-world applications. Practical applications have shown how indirect interaction trough the environment increases the power and expressiveness of MASs, enabling solutions that would otherwise be impossible or at least impractically complex. E4MAS 2006 aims to explore and discuss new uses of the environment for MAS. A number of interesting topics for exploration are:
    • new uses of environment for mediated coordination
    • new forms of stigmergy
    • implicit communication
    • new forms of indirect interaction such as over-sensing
    • use of the environment in law-governed interaction
    • use of the environment in context aware computing
    • task environments
    • environmental coordination of cognitive agents
    • environments and ontology
    • role of the environment in learning

In addition to the two specific targets, general objectives of E4MAS 2006 are (1) to further clarify the role of the environment in MAS; and (2) to extend the understanding of the interplay between agents and the environment.

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E4MAS (3rd, 2006)

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Hakodate, Japan

— when



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— PC members

Andrea Omicini

— lecturers/speakers

Mirko Viroli

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