Spatial Multi-Agent Systems

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The huge availability of geographical and spatial data, along with the impulse from ubiquitous and pervasive application scenarios, has pushed the boundaries of complex system engineering towards spatial computing. There, space (in any of the many possible acceptations of the term) represents at the same time the physical container of distributed pervasive applications, the source of a huge amount of data, information, and knowledge, and the target of both epistemic and practical actions.
Agents – as the basic abstraction for distributed computing –, rational agents – as the basic units for encapsulating intelligence –, and multi-agent systems (MAS) – as the social abstraction for collective behaviours – represent the most likely candidates for providing an original framework for spatial computing coherehtly covering conceptual, technical, and methodological issues.
In this survey tutorial we elaborate on the state-of-the art of spatial computing, and show how the classical ontological foundation for MAS (agents, societies, and environment) can coherently capture the essential aspects of spatial computing, also providing for original perspectives and research directions in the novel field of "Spatial MAS".

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