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Knowledge-based Algorithm for Multi-agent Communication

Baars, E. van (2006) Knowledge-based Algorithm for Multi-agent Communication. Master's Thesis / Essay, Artificial Intelligence.

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Abstract

Software agents are more and more used to perform autonomous tasks in real world environments. This can be a single agent which is performing a task or a group of agents cooperating to perform a task. A system that consists of more than one agent is called a Multi-agent System (MAS). Multi-agent Systems is a research field within the research domain of Artificial Intelligence. One of the processes studied within MAS is cooperative problem solving (CPS). This process describes the problem of one agent that sees a goI for which it needs other agents to cooperate with to achieve this goal. Communication is essential during CPS processes because successful cooperative problem solving requires reliable one-on-group communication to attain an approximation of common belief among the the agents cooperating in a team. This will be shown during a brief introduction of cooperative problem solving. To attain an approximation of common belief it is necessary that the agents gain a certain level of group knowledge about the facts communicated. More specifically, the agents have to know the facts that are communicated, the agents have to know to whom those facts are communicated, and the agents have to know that the agents to whom these facts are communicated know these facts. A simple problem is the sequence transmission problem where one agent communicates a sequence of data to another agent while both agents gain a certain level of knowledge about this data. The sequence transmission problem becomes more complicated when one agent wants to communicate a sequence of data to a group of agents. To attain the desired level of knowledge gaining, somehow the group information has to be involved in the communication. In this thesis a general knowledge-based algorithm is presented that solves the sequence transmission problem for one-on-group communication. This general knowledge-based algorithm is correct for communication media where typical communication errors occur as long as the connection satisfies the fairness condition. It is shown that the agents from a group when using this algorithm for n cycles, gain depth n of general knowledge about the members of the group and about the facts communicated. The communication involved in the CPS process is a bit more complicated than the sequence transmission problem. The sequence transmission problem concerns the transport of data from one agent to one or more other agents while the CPS communication is more a dialogue between two or more agents. The requirements of reliability and gaining of knowledge are the same for both communication processes. A specific knowledge-based algorithm for CPS cornmunication is presented. This CPS algorithm is a modified version of the general algorithm adjusted for the specific demands of CPS communication. It is shown that the agents from a group when using this algorithm for n cycles during a CPS process, gain depth n of general knowledge about the members of the group and about the facts communicated. In general, software agents are connected to each other in a network. The most common network architecture for computers is the internet network architecture. For the CPS algorithm to be of use for software agents in a MAS environment involved in CPS processes, the CPS algorithm should be implemented somewhere in the internet architecture. In this thesis the feasibility of such an implementation is discussed. As a result of this discussion a design specification for an implementation is presented.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Artificial Intelligence
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:30
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:30
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/9079

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