Second International Workshop on
Infrastructure for Agents,
MAS, and Scalable MAS

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Autonomous Agents 2001 Web Site: 

Workshop URLs:

``The first workshop was a great success with over 80 registered participants. We look forward to having another successful workshop this year.''
-- Tom Wagner and Omer Rana (Workshop Chairs)


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.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers and practitioners from a wide variety of domains, such as robotic soccer, distributed sensor control, information agents -- to compare and contrast the features of the domains and the features used to address technologies used to address these domains.

We feel it is important to treat infrastructure, and the subsequent sharing of it, as first class objects to advance both basic research and commercialisation of the agent computing model.

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. Topic one focuses on available infrastructure and requirements for constructing research-grade agents and MAS. Topic two aims to consider support in infrastructure and software design methods for MAS that can directly support coordination and management of large multi-agent communities.

During this workshop, we will present research papers and hold panel/group discussions. The goal is to foster collaboration and reuse, but, also to understand common elements of agent artifacts, environments, and application domains in order to better understand the fit between application requirements and existing technologies.


Submissions and Dates

All participants to the workshop must submit either a research statement or a full length paper. Research statements may be no more than two pages. Full length papers will be considered for presentation. Full length papers may not exceed 8 pages and should be formatted according to the Agents guidelines for the primary conference publications. All submissions are due by March 16, 2001..

Submissions should be in either POSTSCRIPT or PDF format and emailed to the chair of the topic to which it pertains:

Track A - Infrastructure and requirements for agents and MAS - papers should be emailed to Tom Wagner at

Track B - Infrastructure Scalability - papers should be emailed to Omer Rana at

Important Dates


Topic A - "MAS Infrastructure and Requirements"

The purpose of this topic is twofold: 1) to gain an understanding of existing infrastructure for agents and 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 agent/MAS research. 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 agents and MAS.

See the submission guidelines above for submission details.

For further information on this topic, or clarification, contact the chair, Tom Wagner, at

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. 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, US
K. Suzanne Barber University of Texas at Austin, US
Keith Decker University of Delaware, US
Tim Finin University of Maryland Baltimore County, US
Les Gasser University of Illinois
Nick Jennings Southampton University, UK
Victor Lesser University of Massachusetts
at Amherst
Peter Stone AT&T Labs, US
Marie desJardins SRI International, USA
Jose Vidal University of South Carolina


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 (coalition(s) 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 ( 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: (to be confirmed)

Omer F. Rana Cardiff University, UK
Luc Moreau University of Southampton, UK
Lin Padgham Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia
Satoshi Itoh Hitachi Research Labs, Japan
Giovanni Aloisio University of Lecce, Italy
Mario Kupries King Fahd University of Petroleum, Saudi Arabia
Zakaria Maamar Zayed University, U.A.E
Amy Murphy University of Rochester, New York, US
Martin Purvis University of Otago, New Zealand
Francoise Baude and
Julien Vayssiere
INRIA, France
Catholijn Jonker Vrije Universiteit, The Netherlands
Michael Schroeder City University, UK
Matthias Klusch DFKI, Germany
Gregor von Laszewski Argonne National Lab, US
Murray Woodside Carleton University, Canada



We hope to have a panel at the end of the workshop. We are still awaiting confirmation from panelists.

Workshop Organisers

Tom Wagner
University of Maine, USA
phone: (207) 581-3935
Omer Rana
University of Wales, Cardiff, 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.