S.E. Conry, D.J. MacIntosh, R.A. Meyer
In many domains of interest to distributed artificial intelligence, the problem of solving environment may be viewed as a collection of loosely coupled intelligent agents, each of which reasons based on its own incomplete knowledge of the state of the world. No agent has sufficient knowledge to solve the problem at hand so that coordinated cooperative problem solving is required to satisfy system goals. In this paper, we present DARES, a distributed reasoning system in which agents have the ability to focus their attention on selective information interchange to facilitate cooperative problem solving. The experimental results we present demonstrate that agents in a loosely coupled network of problem solvers can work semi-independently, yet focus their attention with the aid of relatively simple heuristics when cooperation is appropriate. These results suggest that we have developed an effective cooperation strategy which is largely independant of initial knowledge distribution.