SSP Group Meeting

11am, 11 May, 2004
Room 4.03, Appleton Tower
CISA, School of Informatics
University of Edinburgh

Constraint relaxation to reduce brittleness of distributed agent protocols

Fadzil Hassan

Incompatible goals among multiple agents working on domains involving finite constraints can be a source of conflict. This conflict, in the form of incompatible constraints established locally by the agents and imposed on the negotiated variables, may break the dialogue between the agents, even though they could, in principle, reach an agreement. A common means of coordinating multi-agent systems is by using protocols, by which are attached constraints on the interaction; but protocols are brittle, in the sense that the constraints they contain may either succeed or fail, and if they fail the entire protocol may fail. Therefore, this talk aims to discuss on applying a constraint relaxation technique originally for automated negotiation, using a distributed protocol language called the Lightweight Coordination Calculus (LCC), in order to overcome a class of conflicts, making protocols less brittle. This approach is illustrated in a scenario involving the ordering and configuration of a computer between the customer and vendor agents.