Contact: Juergen Dix ( )
Number of students:
Department/ group:
Formal Methods Group

Course: Multi-Agent Systems
Juergen Dix
15 weeks, 3 hours per week

Part 1: Multi-Agent Systems in General
Chapter 0: Introduction
Chapter 1: Terminology
Chapter 2: 4 fundamental Architectures
Chapter 3: Distributed Decision-Making
Chapter 4: Agent Communication and Interaction
Chapter 5: Contract Nets and Coalition Formation
Chapter 6. Search-Algorithms for agents.

Part 2: IMPACT (Interactive Maryland Platform of Agents collaborating together)

Chapter 1: IMPACT Architecture (API, Service Description, Messages, Action Policies, Server Architecture, Hierarchies, Registering an Agent)
Chapter 2: Service Description Language (SDL, Items, Item Atoms, Metric cd, Matchmaking, Range Computations, Performance)
Chapter 3: The Code Call Mechanism (Software Code Abstraction, State, Code Call (Conditions), Safety, Message Box, IC's, Examples)
Chapter 4: Actions (Action Base, Executability, Types of Concurrent Exec., Action Constraints), Chapter 5: Agent Programs (Syntax, (Feasible) Status Sets, Deontic/Action Closure/Consistency, Rational, Reasonable Status Sets)
Chapter 6: Complexity-results (Complexity Classes, Nondeterministic Turing machines, Oracle TM's, Assumptions on Software Code, Influence of IC's, Positive vs. negative Programs, Sources of complexity, Feasible, Rational, Reasonable Status Sets)
Chapter 7: Agent Programs with Beliefs (CFIT*, Belief Atoms, Belief Language, Hierarchy, Belief- (Semantic-) Table, Meta Agent Programs, Belief Status Set, Induced State and Status Set, Info, extended Code Calls, Feasible Belief SS, Coherence, Compatibility, Reduction to ordinary Agent Programs)
Chapter 8: Regular Agents (Strong Safety, Binding Patterns, Finiteness Table, Conflict Freedom, Deontic Stratification, weakly regular, Unfolding, regular Agents, Compile Time Algorithms, IADE) .

Literature recommended to students?:
Part 1: Multi-Agent Systems in General (G. Weiss, "Multi-Agent Systems", MIT Press).
Part 2: IMPACT (Interactive Maryland Platform of Agents (Subrahmanian et al., "Heterogeneous Agent Systems", MIT Press).
Part of a regular curriculum?:
Yes, an option. Similar courses were given at University of Koblenz, WS 99/00, WS 00/01 and at Technical University of Vienna, SS 00.
Offered by regular members of staff?:
Planned in Manchester
Average number and education level of students:
Graduate level
Is the material used public?: (Part2).

Number of Agent-related theses per year: 3 master, 2 diploma, and 1 PhD thesis.


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