[Infrastructure for Scalable Multi-Agent Systems]

[Autonomous Agents Logo]
Barcelona, Spain
June 3,4 2000

Autonomous Agents 2000 Web Site: http://www.iiia.csic.es/agents2000/
http://www.cs.umn.edu/agents2000/ (Mirror site)

Afternoon Programme (NEW)

For morning program see http://www.cs.umaine.edu/~wagner/agents2000/ (NEW)

Call for Papers: ASCII Format

Why we need it?

Building research grade multi-agent systems requires a large amount of software infrastructure. Many systems require planning, scheduling, coordination, communication, transport, simulation, and module integration technologies and often the research interest pertains to only a portion of the technology or to aggregate system performance. To advance scientific progress, we, as a community, need to share this infrastructure wherever possible -- reuse in this context may enable more researchers to build functioning experimental systems and to test their theoretical ideas in actual software environments.

When these research ideas are then translated to commercial systems, scalability issues become significant. Commercial success for MAS will require scalable solutions -- in infrastructure and software design approaches, to enable re-use and effective deployment of both mobile and intelligent agents.


More on this workshop

This workshop consists of two separate topics that are joined under the common umbrella of addressing questions that will make large scale MAS a reality. The first topic, denoted "Topic A" below, focuses on available infrastructure and requirements for constructing research-grade MAS. This topic will be the concentration of the morning session of the workshop. The second topic, denoted "Topic B" below, will aim to consider support in infrastructure and software design methods for MAS that can directly support coordination and management of large multi-agent communities. Topic B will be the concentration of the afternoon session of the workshop. A panel discussion in the afternoon, consisting of representatives from each topic area, will explore issues particularly relevant to both areas of interest.


Submissions and Dates

All participants to the workshop must submit either a research statement or a full length paper to the appropriate topic organizer below. Research statements may be no more than two pages. Full length papers will be considered for presentation. Full length papers may not exceed 6 pages and should be formatted according to the Agents guidelines for the primary conference publications. All submissions are due by April 15, 2000. Acceptances/notifications will be sent via email.

Important Dates


Topic A - "MAS Infrastructure and Requirements"

The purpose of this topic is twofold: 1) to gain an understanding of existing infrastructure for MAS, and 2) to understand how the communities' different research foci translate into requirements for the infrastructure. Accordingly, we invite papers belonging to two classes:

A) Implemented infrastructure - systems, control components, frameworks, etc., that are implemented and available (or can be made so) to outside researchers. Papers of this class may be somewhat tutorial or descriptive in nature, possibly identifying the features or components of the infrastructure and identifying the research questions the infrastructure is designed to help address/explore.

B) Research requirements or features that researchers believe are critical to their MAS research interests. Papers of this class should help researchers with infrastructure understand the relationship between their infrastructure and the needs of other researchers in the community.

The goal is to facilitate a dialogue between different infrastructure builders and between infrastructure builders and other interested members of the research community. In both paper classes, we strongly encourage pragmatic and practical submissions focused on the issue of software infrastructure for research grade MAS.

Papers and research statements for this topic should be submitted via either email (preferred) or snail mail. To submit a paper via email, send postscript or pdf to Tom Wagner at wagner@umcs.maine.edu. Direct snail mail submissions to: Tom Wagner, Department of Computer Science, Neville Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5752.

Topic A committee:

Tom Wagner, University of Maine
K. Suzanne Barber, University of Texas at Austin
Keith Decker, University of Delaware
Tim Finin, University of Maryland Baltimore County
Marcus Huber, Intelligent Reasoning Systems and Oregon Graduate Institute
Victor Lesser, University of Massachusetts
Richard Metzger, Air Force Research Lab


Topic B - "Infrastructure Scalability"

In deploying multi-agent systems for practical applications, it is important to consider infrastructure that can cater for agent and platform heterogeneity, and subsequently to large number of agents, with such agents working collectively. The infrastructure can be application dependent, or it may be possible to identify general issues that have a wider use. Emerging applications in scientific computing, e-commerce and mobile/embedded systems, where the agent paradigm is of particular significance, infrastructure scalability becomes an important consideration. Scalability can be associated with the underlying communications mechanisms, naming scheme (service), negotiation and service discovery protocols, caching strategies, and convergence time in learning agents. Scalability and performance management approaches range from analytic approaches (such as process algebras, queueing models, Petri nets) to performance engineering approaches which can be associated with software engineering methods. Also associated with the notion of scalability are aspects of robustness and persistence for checkpointing and managing state within an agent community. For instance, how can agents be moved across server boundaries without starting/stopping them? Can we dynamically identify groups (coallitions or ``congregations'') of agents in multi agent communities that could support scalability?

This part of the workshop will aim to address these issues, and long papers and short statements/research goals are invited. Your paper (long/short) should clearly identify relevance to the proposed topic area of scalability and infrastructure support for performance management.

Papers in PDF, HTML, PostScript (A4 paper size please), ASCII should be emailed to Omer F. Rana (o.f.rana@cs.cf.ac.uk) for topic B. Email based submission is encouraged, but submission via surface mail will also be accepted -- mail to Omer F. Rana, University of Wales, Cardiff, PO Box 916, Cardiff, PO Box 916, Cardiff CF24 3XF, UK

Topic B committee:

Omer F. Rana, University of Wales, Cardiff, UK
Lyndon Lee and Steve Corley, BT Labs, UK
David Walker, Oak Ridge National Lab, USA
Murray Woodside, Carleton University, Canada
Roy Williams, CACR, Caltech, USA
Kate Stout, Sun Microsystems, USA
Peter Harrison, Imperial College, London, UK
Craig Thompson, OBJS, USA
Jan Treur, Vrije University, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Denis Caromel, INRIA, France
Michael Luck, University of Warwick, UK
Mark d'Inverno, University of Westminster, UK
Michael Shroeder City University, UK



The following have agreed to participate on the panel:

Workshop Organisers

Tom Wagner
University of Maine, USA
email: wagner@umcs.maine.edu
phone: (207) 581-3935
Omer Rana
University of Wales, Cardiff, UK
email: o.f.rana@cs.cf.ac.uk
phone: +44 (0)2920 875 542


Would you like to participate?

If you would like to participate in this workshop, as a presenter (author) or a delegate, please send us an email.