Joseph G. D'Ambrosio, William P. Birmingham
Agent-based systems provide hope for solving a wide variety of distributed problems. One key aspect of agent-based system is coordinating agent actions to achieve coherent behavior. For example, in concurrent engineering (CE), it is necessary to ensure that the individual decision made by constituents in a design organization achieve overall organizational objectives (e.g., increase market share), while still allowing individuals to exploit their expertise. We believe CE is representative of many multiagent problems, in that agent coordination must include facilities to support both solving a hierarchically decomposed problem, e.g., the contract net and interactions among peers as well.