An Architecture for Tuple-based Coordination of Multi-Agent Systems

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Software: Practice and Experience 29(12), pages 1103–1121
October 1999

Multi-agent system development calls for powerful and expressive coordination models and languages, as well as for an effective coordination technology. A good deal of the current research efforts focuses on tuple-based coordination, exploiting its well-known advantages, such as agent uncoupling and associative access to information, and addressing its limitations in terms of flexibility and control capabilities. In particular, the behaviour of a Linda-like tuple space is fixed once and for all by the coordination model, and cannot be tailored to the specific application needs.
Tuple centres are tuple spaces whose behaviour can be programmed by defining transactional reactions to the basic communication events, allowing coordination laws to be explicitly defined and embedded into the coordination medium. This paper presents the architecture of a run-time system for tuple-based coordination where tuple centres work as an extensible kernel, around which multi-agent systems can be designed and deployed. After sketching the implementation, the paper shows the advantages that can be achieved from both the design and the performance viewpoints.

journal or series
book Software: Practice and Experience (SPE)