We present a novel approach to enable decision-making in a highly distributed multiagent environment where individual agents need to act in an autonomous fashion. Our architecture framework integrates risk management, knowledge management, and agent deliberation to enable sophisticated, autonomous decision-making. Instead of a centralized knowledge repository, our approach supports a highly distributed knowledge base in which each agent manages a fraction of the knowledge needed by the entire system. Our approach also addresses the fact that the desired knowledge is often highly dynamic, context-sensitive, incomplete, or uncertain. Thus risk management becomes an integral component which enables context-based, situation-aware decision making, which in turn supports autonomous, self-managing behavior of the agents. A prototype system demonstrating the feasibility of our approach is being developed as part of an ongoing funded research project.
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