“Go to the Ant”: Engineering Principles from Natural Agent Systems

H. Van Dyke Parunak

Agent architectures need to organize themselves and adapt dynamically to changing circumstances without top-down control from a system operator. Some researchers provide this capability with complex agents that emulate human intelligence and reason explicitly about their coordination, reintroducing many of the problems of complex system design and implementation that motivated increasing software localization in the first place. Naturally occurring systems of simple agents (such as populations of insects or other animals) suggest that this retreat is not necessary. This paper summarizes several studies of such systems, and derives from them a set of general principles that artificial multi-agent systems can use to support overall system behavior significantly more complex than the behavior of the individuals agents.

Annals of Operation Research 75(0), pages 69-101, January 1997.
Robert W. Blanning, Michael J. Shaw (eds.)
Special Issue on Artificial Intelligence and Management Science
Author = {Parunak, H. Van Dyke},
Doi = {10.1023/A:1018980001403},
Editor = {Blanning, Robert W. and Shaw, Michael J.},
Issn = {0254-5330},
Journal = {Annals of Operation Research},
Month = jan,
Note = {Special Issue on Artificial Intelligence and Management Science},
Number = 0,
Pages = {69--101},
Title = {``{G}o to the Ant'': Engineering Principles from Natural Agent Systems},
Url = {http://www.springerlink.com/content/n1026507g6218877/},
Volume = 75,
Year = 1997}

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