Cognitive Stigmergy: Towards a Framework Based on Agents and Artifacts

Alessandro Ricci, Andrea Omicini, Mirko Viroli, Luca Gardelli, Enrico Oliva

Stigmergy has been adopted in MAS (multi-agent systems) and in other fields as a technique for realising forms of emergent coordination in societies composed by a large amount of ant-like, non-rational agents. In this paper we discuss a conceptual (and engineering) framework for exploring the use of stigmergy in the context of societies composed by cognitive / rational agents, as a means for supporting high-level, knowledge-based social activities. We refer to this kind of stigmergy as cognitive stigmergy. Cognitive stigmergy is based on the use of artifacts as tools populating and structuring the agent working environment, and which agents perceive, share and rationally use for their individual goals. Artifacts are environment abstractions that mediate agent interaction and enable emergent coordination: as such, they can be used to encapsulate and enact the stigmergic mechanisms and the shared knowledge upon which emergent coordination processes are based.
In this paper, we start exploring this scenario introducing an agent-based framework for cognitive stigmergy based on artifacts. After discussing the main conceptual issues – the notion of cognitive stigmergy and the role of artifacts –, we sketch an abstract architecture for cognitive stigmergy, and outline its implementation upon the TuCSoN agent coordination infrastructure.

Environments for MultiAgent Systems III, Part Mediated Interaction and Stigmery, Ch. 7, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence) 4389, pages 124-140, May 2007.
Danny Weyns, H. Van Dyke Parunak, Fabien Michel (eds.), Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
3rd International Workshop (E4MAS 2006), Hakodate, Japan, 8 May 2006. Selected Revised and Invited Papers

Author = {Ricci, Alessandro and Omicini, Andrea and Viroli, Mirko and Gardelli, Luca and Oliva, Enrico},
Booktitle = {Environments for MultiAgent Systems III},
Chapter = 7,
Doi = {10.1007/978-3-540-71103-2_7},
Editor = {Weyns, Danny and Parunak, H. Van Dyke and Michel, Fabien},
IrisId = {11585/45690},
Isbn = {978-3-540-71102-5},
Isbn-Online = {978-3-540-71103-2},
Issn = {0302-9743},
Month = may,
Note = {3rd International Workshop (E4MAS 2006), Hakodate, Japan, 8~} # may # {~2006. Selected Revised and Invited Papers},
Pages = {124--140},
Part = {Mediated Interaction and Stigmery},
Publisher = {Springer Berlin Heidelberg},
PublonsId = {13197240},
ScholarId = {8497596473192410111},
ScopusId = {2-s2.0-38049179113},
Series = {Lecture Notes in Computer Science},
Subseries = {Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence},
Title = {Cognitive Stigmergy: Towards a Framework Based on Agents and Artifacts},
Url = {},
Volume = 4389,
WosId = {000245775800007},
Year = 2007}

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