Visara Urovi (2011)
MAGE: Multi-Agent Game Environment.
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We study the use of games as a metaphor for building social interactionin norm-governed multi-agent systems. As part of our research we proposeMAGE (Multi-Agent Game Environment) as a logic-based framework thatrepresents complex agent interactions as games. MAGE seeks to (a) reuseexisting computational techniques for defining event-based normative sys-tem and (b) complement these techniques with a coordination component tosupport complex interactions.A game in MAGE is defined by a state, a set of normative rules describingthe valid moves at different states and a set of effect rules describing how thestate evolves as a result of a move taking place. Given a specification of thenormative rules, in the implementation of a game, we use game containers ascomponents that mediate the moves of players by checking their compliancewith the rules of the game and by maintaining the state of the game.The reuse part of MAGE relates physical actions that happen in an agentenvironment to valid moves of a game representing the social environment ofan application. MAGE allows to model complex interactions from simpleratomic sub-games. In this context, we investigate how coordination patternscan be used to dynamically play more than one game in parallel, change thestatus of games or choose amongst games. For this purpose, we examinehow to define compound games from atomic sub-games. Compound gamesare build by describing the conditions and the patterns that activate a sub-game and the coordination mechanisms of MAGE ensure that sub-games areactivated according to how interactions are specified to evolve at run-time.To illustrate the MAGE approach, we discuss how to use the frameworkto specify the social interaction in two different scenarios: (i) Open-Packet-World - a simple simulation where agents compete to collect and deliverpackets in a grid and (ii) an earth-observation application - where agentsrepresent services, both for clients and providers, and negotiate the provisionof these services by combining argumentation and communication protocols.We also use the Open-Packet-World scenario to evaluate the effectiveness ofthe framework. We show that we can effectively support at run-time a large-scale multi-agent systems regulated by norms. We conclude the dissertationby summarising our contributions and identifying areas for future work.
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