The first part of the presentation surveys fundamental insights in the ‘science of the artificial’ as coined by the Herbert Simon. From these insights a number of design requirements and principles for complex adaptive man-invented systems are derived.
The second part discusses a multi-agent coordination and control system answering the above requirements for a specific application domain. The system design is inspired by the behavior of social insects (ant colonies) and includes some ‘social engineering’ of the agent society. The discussion focuses on the society of the agents: its architecture, structure and interaction mechanisms; the internal architecture of a single agent is not discussed. This sample MAS design is computationally efficient and gives its user full control over the computation and communication effort where the result is ‘best effort’ only. These coordination and control systems handle a going concern; they do not limit themselves to one-shot problem solving.
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