Evolution of the GPGP/TÆMS Domain-Independent Coordination Framework1,2

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Abstract

The GPGP/TÆMS domain-independent coordination framework for small agent groups was first described in 1992 and then more fully detailed in an ICMAS'95 paper. In this paper, we discuss the evolution of this framework which has been motivated by its use in a number of applications, including: information gathering and management, intelligent home automation, distributed situation assessment, coordination of concurrent engineering activities, hospital scheduling, travel planning, repair service coordination and supply chain management. First, we review the basic architecture of GPGP and then present extensions to the TÆMS domain-independent representation of agent activities. We next describe extensions to GPGP that permit the representation of situation-specific coordination strategies and social laws as well as making possible the use of GPGP in large agent organizations. Additionally, we discuss a more encompassing view of commitments that takes into account uncertainty in commitments. We then present new coordination mechanisms for use in resource sharing and contracting, and more complex coordination mechanisms that use a cooperative search among agents to find appropriate commitments. We conclude with a summary of the major ideas underpinning GPGP, an analysis of the applicability of the GPGP framework including performance issues, and a discussion of future research directions.

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