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A cooperative problem-solving process in hierarchical organization.

Waled ALSHABI, Srini Ramaswamy, Mhamed ITMI and Habib ABDULRAB

Summer Computer Simulation Conference 2007 (SCSC 2007)
San Diego, California (USA), July 15-18, 2007


A multi-agent system is a distributed system that consists of several autonomous and flexible entities, often termed as agents. While these agents can engage in various types of interaction [1-3], an important form of interaction is cooperative problem solving (CPS), which occurs when a group of agents choose to work cooperatively to achieve a common goal. Relevant examples include a group of agents moving a heavy object, writing a joint paper, etc. As these examples indicate, CPS is a common and important process and a number of CPS models have been proposed and developed by DAI researchers [4-6]. In this paper, we define our CPS process model, and describe the four different phases of the model. These phases describe the circumstances under which agents will identify the need for cooperation, and how these agents behave when such situations arise. This paper is organized as follows. Section two introduces the notion of the CPS process. The third section highlights the inconvenience of cooperation in multi-agent systems (MAS). In the fourth section, we introduce our hierarchical model for MAS‎. In the fifth section we present the proposed CPS model. Finally, the sixth section concludes the paper.

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