Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Multiagent Systems:
A Survey from a Machine Learning Perspective

Peter Stone, Manuela Veloso

December 1997

Keywords: Multiagent systems, survey, machine learning, robotic soccer, intelligent agents, pursuit domain, homogeneous agents, heterogeneous agents, communicating agents

Distributed Artificial Intelligence (DAI) has existed as a subfield of AI for less than two decades. DAI is concerned with systems that consist of multiple independent entities that interact in a domain. Traditionally, DAI has been divided into two sub-disciplines: Distributed Problem Solving (DPS) focusses on the information management aspects of systems with several branches working together towards a common goal; Multiagent Systems (MAS) deals with behavior management in collections of several independent entities, or agents. This survey of MAS is intended to serve as an introduction to the field and as an organizational framework. A series of increasingly complex general multiagent scenarios are presented. For each scenario, the issues that arise are described along with a sampling of the techniques that exist to deal with them. The presented techniques are not exhaustive, but they highlight how multiagent systems can be and have been used to build complex systems. When options exist, the techniques presented are biased towards machine learning approaches. Additional opportunities for applying machine learning to MAS are highlighted and robotic soccer is presented as an appropriate testbed for MAS.

36 pages

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