Heterogeneous Agent Systems

Two weeks introductory course at
European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information 2002,
(Aug. 5-16, 2002, Trento, Italy)



Lecturers: J. Dix, Th.Eiter


Overview      Lecture Notes s


  • Precise dates will be announced soon: please check back this homepage. Tentative Dates are sessions in the morning, 10--11.30 am. In each week we'll have five sessions (August. 5-16).
Multi Agent Systems
Research in "Multi-Agents" is a still growing area which adresses the need to move from the development of massive programs containing millions of lines of code, to smaller, modular, pieces of code, where each module performs a well defined, focused task (rather than thousands of them). "Software agents" constitute the latest innovation in this trend towards splitting complex software systems into components.

Although there have been developed in the last years a huge variety of techniques and methods related to agents, a well-defined theoretical foundation unifying the different facets under one umbrella is still missing.

We will try to give in the second week of our course a rough picture of what the IMPACT (Interactive Maryland Platform of Agents Collaborating Together) approach consists of. In particular, we will give detailed and precise answers to the following important questions:
Q1: What is an agent?
Q2: If program P is not considered to be an agent, how can it be "agentised"?
Q3: What kind of software infrastructure is required for multiple agents to interact with one another?
  • In the first week we are giving a general introduction to Multi-Agent Systems, mostly based on material in the book Multiagent Systems of Gerhard Weiss (MIT Press, 1999). We have 5 talks splitted in 4 chapters.
  • In the second week we focus on the IMPACT approach, based on the book Heterogeneous Agent Systems of Subrahmanian/Bonatti/Dix/Eiter/Kraus/Ozcan/Ross, MIT Press, 2000. We are giving theoretical foundations as well as various demos of implemented applications.
    Here are two interesting links:
  • General Agent Systems: Agentlink Net
        Here is the current version of the slides.
               Juergen Dix