Contents: Multi-agent systems have emerged
as one of the most important areas of research and development
in information technology in the 1990s. A multi-agent system
is one composed of multiple interacting software components
known as agents, which are typically capable of co-operating
to solve problems that are beyond the abilities of any individual
member. Multi-agent systems are important primarily because
they have been found to have very wide applicability, in areas
as diverse as industrial process control and electronic commerce.
This module introduces the student to the notion of an agent,
and leads them to an understanding of what an agent is, how
they can be constructed, and how agents can be made to cooperate
effectively with one-another to solve problems. The practical
component of the module involves students building their own
agent that must interact with others as part of a distributed
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G. M. P. O'Hare and N. R. Jennings, editors. "Foundations
of Distributed AI". Wiley Interscience, 1996.
M. Singh and M. Huhns. "Readings in Agents". Morgan-Kaufmann