International Workshop on Environments for Multi-Agent Systems (2004—2014)

There is a general agreement in the multi-agent research community that environments are essential for multi-agent systems, yet researchers neglect to integrate the environment as a primary abstraction in their models and tools for multi-agent systems. Popular frameworks such as Jade, Jack, Retsina or Zeus reduce the environment to a message transport system or broker infrastructure. Well known methodologies such as Prometheus or Tropos offer support for some basic elements of the environment, however they fail to consider the environment as a first class entity. Even in the FIPA specifications it is hard to find any functionality for the environment that goes beyond message transport or broker systems. Restricting interaction to inter-agent communication neglects a rich potential of possibilities for the paradigm of multi-agent systems.
Researchers working in the domain of situated multi-agent systems traditionally integrate the environment as a first class entity. In situated multi-agent systems, the environment is an active entity with its own processes that can change its own state, independent of the activity of the embedded agents. Inspired by biological systems, several researchers have shown that the environment can serve as a robust self-revising common memory for agents. This can unburden the individual agents from continuously keeping track of their knowledge about the system. Moreover, it enables the agents to use their environment as an excellent medium for indirect coordination. Gradient fields and evaporating marks in the environment can guide agents in their local context and as such facilitate the coordination in a community of agents in a distributed fashion. Since the exploitation of the environment in situated multi-agent systems has shown to result in quite manageable solutions with very adaptable qualities it is a promising paradigm to deal with the increasingly complexity and dynamism of coming system infrastructure and problem domains, e.g. ad hoc networks or ubiquitous computing.
Despite the large amount of work in the domain of situated multi-agent systems, we are just at the very beginning of understanding the complex principles behind the concepts of environment and the interplay between agents and environment. The aim of the International Workshop on Environments for Multi-Agent Systems is to put environment on the agenda of the multi-agent research community and open a forum for discussion on this important topic.

4 events in the series
page_white_acrobat Reconciling Event- and Agent-Based Paradigms in the Engineering of Complex Systems: The Role of Environment Abstractions (2015) • page_white_acrobat Coordination in Situated MAS: Engineering Environment in TuCSoN () • page_white_acrobat Agent Environments for Multi-Agent Systems IV (2015) • page_white_acrobat 3rd International Workshop “Environments for Multi-Agent Systems” (E4MAS 2006) (2006) • page_white_acrobat CArtAgO: A Framework for Prototyping Artifact-Based Environments in MAS (2007) • page_white_acrobat CArtAgO: An Infrastructure for Engineering Computational Environments in MAS (2006) • page_white_acrobat Environments for Multi-Agent Systems III (2007) • page_white_acrobat Cognitive Stigmergy: A Framework Based on Agents and Artifacts (2006) • page_white_acrobat Designing Self-organising MAS Environments: The Collective Sort Case (2007) • page_white_acrobat On Engineering Self-Organizing Environments: Stochastic Methods for Dynamic Resource Allocation (2006) • page_white_acrobat Cognitive Stigmergy: Towards a Framework Based on Agents and Artifacts (2007) • page_white_acrobat Environments for Multi-Agent Systems II (2006) • page_white_acrobat A Survey of Environments and Mechanisms for Human-Human Stigmergy (2006) • page_white_acrobat Environment-Based Coordination Through Coordination Artifacts (2005) • page_white_acrobat “Exhibitionists” and “Voyeurs” do it better: A Shared Environment Approach for Flexible Coordination with Tacit Messages (2005) • page_white_acrobat Environments for Multi-Agent Systems (2005)