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Cooperative Problem Solving

One of the most important forms of interaction in a multi-agent system occurs when groups of individual agents come together to cooperate on a particular problem solving task. In this work, we are striving to develop a formal model of team problem solving which covers the entire cooperation process: from recognition of the potential for cooperation through to team action.

The chosen conceptual basis of our model is the notion of joint intentions. Thus, we have explored what it means for individual agents to be jointly committed to a team. Moreover, since we are interested in using this model to guide our implemented systems, we have shown how such models can be used to prescribe architectures for cooperaing agents (see the GRATE* publications for more details).


J. E. Doran, S. Franklin, N. R. Jennings and T. J. Norman. (1997). On cooperation in multi-agent systems. The Knowledge Engineering Review, 12(3), 309-314, 1997. (This document is also available in HTML format.)

N. R. Jennings (1995) Controlling Cooperative Problem Solving in Industrial Multi-Agent Systems using Joint Intentions , Artificial Intelligence, 75 (2) 195-240.

N. R. Jennings: Coordination Techniques for Distributed Artificial Intelligence , in Foundations of Distributed Artificial Intelligence (eds. G. M. P. O'Hare and N. R. Jennings), Wiley, 1996, 187-210.

N. R. Jennings: Cooperation in Industrial Multi-Agent Systems , Series in Computer Science, World Scientific Publishing, Singapore (ISBN 981-02-1652-1), 1994.

N. R. Jennings: Commitments and Conventions: The Foundation of Coordination in Multi-Agent Systems , The Knowledge Engineering Review, 8 (3), 1993, 223-250.

N. R. Jennings: Specification and Implementation of a Belief-Desire-Joint-Intention Architecture for Collaborative Problem Solving , Int. Journal of Intelligent and Cooperative Information Systems, 2 (3), 1993, 289-318.

N. R. Jennings: Coordination Through Joint Intentions in Industrial Multi-Agent Systems , AI Magazine, 14 (4), 1993, 79-80.

N. R. Jennings: Controlling Cooperative Problem Solving Using Joint Intentions , AI Communications 6 (3&4), 1993, 247-248.

N. R. Jennings: On Being Responsible , Decentralized A. I. 3, (eds. E. Werner & Y. Demazeau), North Holland Publishers, 1992, 93-102.

N. R. Jennings: Using Joint Intentions in Electricity Transport Management , Proc. ECAI Workshop on Application Aspects of Distributed AI, Vienna, Austria, 1992.

N. R. Jennings: Using GRATE to Build Cooperating Agents for Industrial Control , Proc. IFAC/IFIP/IMACS Int. Sym. on Artificial Intelligence in Real Time Control, Delft, The Netherlands, 1992, 691-696.

N. R. Jennings and E. H. Mamdani: Using Joint Responsibility to Coordinate Collaborative Problem Solving in Dynamic Environments, Proc of 10th National Conf. on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-92), San Jose, USA, 1992, 269-275.

N. R. Jennings, E. H. Mamdani, I. Laresgoiti, J. Perez and J. Corera: GRATE: A General Framework for Cooperative Problem Solving . IEE-BCS Journal of Intelligent Systems Engineering, 1 (2), 1992, 102-114.

T. J. Norman, C. Sierra and N. R. Jennings (1998) "Rights and commitments in multi-agent agreements" Proc. 3rd Int. Conf. on Multi-Agent Systems (ICMAS-98), Paris, France, 222-229.

H. S. Nwana, L. C. Lee and N. R. Jennings, (1996) "Coordination in Software Agent Systems" The British Telecom Technical Journal, 14 (4) 79-88.

P. Panzarasa and N. R. Jennings (2001) "Social influence and the generation of joint mental attitudes in multi-agent systems" Proc. 4th Int Eurosim Congress on Simulating Organisational Processes, Delft, The Netherlands.

P. Panzarasa and N. R. Jennings (2001) "The organisation of sociality: a manifesto for a new scienece of multi-agent systems" Proc 10th European Workshop on Multi-Agent Systems (MAAMAW-01), Annecy, France.

P. Panzarasa and N. R. Jennings (2001) "Negotiation and joint commitments in multi-agent systems" Proc. 2nd Int Workshop on Modelling Artificial Societies and Hybrid Organisations, Vienna, Austria. (to appear).

P. Panzarasa, N. R. Jennings and T. J. Norman (2001) "Going public and the sale of shares with asymmetric investors" Int Journal of Group Decision and Negotiation 10 (5). (to appear)

P. Panzarasa, N. R. Jennings and T. J. Norman (2001) "Formalising collaborative decision making and practical reasoning in multi-agent systems" Journal of Logic and Computation 11 (6). (to appear)

P. Panzarasa, T. J. Norman and N. R. Jennings (2001) "Social mental shaping: modelling the impact of sociality on autonomous agents' mental states" Computational Intelligence 17 (4). (to appear)

P. Panzarasa, T. J. Norman and N. R. Jennings (1999) "Modelling Sociality in a BDI framework" Proc. 1st Asia-Pacific Conf. on Intelligent Agent Technology, Hong Kong, 202-206.

M. J. Wooldridge and N. R. Jennings, (1999) "Cooperative Problem Solving" Journal of Logic and Computation 9 (4) 563-592.

M. Wooldridge and N.R. Jennings: Formalizing the Cooperative Problem Solving Process , 13th International Workshop on Distributed Artificial Intelligence (IWDAI-94), Lake Quinhalt, WA, July 1994, 403-417.

M. Wooldridge and N.R. Jennings: Towards a Theory of Cooperative Problem Solving , Proc. Modelling Autonomous Agents in a Multi-Agent World (MAAMAW-94), Odense, Denmark, 1994, 15-26.