Special Issue  “Advances in Multi-Agent Systems”

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Applied Sciences 13(5)

Research work on intelligent agents and multi-agent systems (MAS) has steadily matured during the last decades. Many effective applications of the resulting technologies have actually been deployed, which has enabled the development of distributed and intelligent applications in complex and highly-dynamic environments. Systems of this sort play a crucial role in people’s everyday life, as evidenced by the broad range of applications relying on agent-based solutions, including manufacturing, management sciences, e-commerce, biotechnology, healthcare, etc.

The field of MAS is a strongly inter-disciplinary research area of interest to highly heterogeneous communities. This is witnessed by the many events and publications fostering the application of MAS to specific business domains, and the convergence of research in logics, automated learning, planning, software engineering, and other disciplines contributing to the very notion of agent technology.

There are many reasons for researchers to be interested in this discipline. Firstly, computational systems have gradually shifted towards a distributed paradigm where heterogeneous entities with different goals can enter and leave the system dynamically and interact with each other. Secondly, computational systems should be able to negotiate with one another, typically on behalf of humans, in order to come to mutually acceptable agreements. As a consequence, autonomy, interaction, mobility, and openness are key concepts in the area.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to advance the MAS field, making it more visible and accessible to the scientific community. It will show the current state of the resulting technologies by analyzing all the relevant scientific and technical aspects as well as their possible application to various domains. This review of the current state-of-the-art is not intended to be an exhaustive exploration of all existing works, but rather to give an overview of the current research in agent and MAS technology, and the high level of activity of this area.

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page_white_acrobatSpecial Issue “Advances in Multi-Agent Systems”: Editorial (editorial/introduction/preface, 2023) — Stefano Mariani, Andrea Omicini