Multi-Agent Systems in Practice - When Research Meets Reality

AutorMarco Lützenberger, Tobias Küster, Nils Masuch, Johannes Fähndrich, and Sahin Albayrak
QuelleJohn Thangarajah, Karl Tuyls, Catholijn Jonker, and Stacy Marsella (eds.) Proceedings of the 15th International Conferences on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2016), Singapore. pp. 796-805. IFAAMAS. ISBN: 978-1-4503-4239-1 
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The applicability and usefulness of agent technology for real world problems is still a matter of discussion - even within the AAMAS community. While theoretical models have significantly matured and led to an exciting variety of results, there were only few attempts to validate these models in reality. In this paper we aim to report on challenges that occurred when agent theory was used to approach real world problems. In doing so, we focus on the concept of planning, since planning currently appears to be one of the most relevant concepts for distributed real world applications. We examine four agent-based applications and emphasise problems that occurred when agent theory was practically applied. We also show how these problems were countered and propose more general solutions based on theses tailored and context-specific approaches. The aim of this paper is to bring the two diverging branches of agent theory and practice back together in order to better adapt agent technology to the requirements of professional software.