Coordination Artifacts: A Unifying Abstraction for Engineering Environment-Mediated Coordination in MAS

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Informatica 29(4), pages 433-443
November 2005

Similarly to human organizations, where the environment plays a fundamental role in supporting social activities, the environment of a multi-agent system (MAS) is the natural place where understanding and designing agent coordination. Accordingly, we propose the notion of coordination artifact as a unifying abstraction for engineering environment-based coordination of agents. This is meant to capture at the MAS level abstractions and concepts like services, tools, and artifacts, which are typically shared and exploited by the collectivity of individuals for achieving individual as well as global objectives. In this work we describe this framework, by defining a model for the coordination artifact abstraction, and discussing the infrastructures and technologies currently available for engineering MAS applications with coordination artifacts.

keywordsMulti-Agent System Coordination, Multi-Agent System Environment, Multi-Agent System Engineering, Coordination Artifacts
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page_white_acrobatSpecial Issue “Hot Topics in European Agent Research I” (special issue, 2005) — Andrea Omicini, Paolo Petta, Matjaz Gams