Cheryl E. Martin, Robert H. Macfadzean, and K. Suzanne Barber
The level of autonomy at which individual agents function is of critical importance to the overall operation of multi-agent systems. The term level of autononty refers to the type of interactions between an agent and other agents in its system. In well-defined contexts, agents can be designed for a single level of autonomy by predicting the type of problems that will be faced. However. in dynamic systems, the appropriate level of aulonomy may depend on the situation. Therefore. substantial performance benefits for agent-based systems can be realized by agents that are capable of dynamically adapting their level of autonomy during system operation. This paper develops a representation for agent autonomy level and discusses how dynamic adaptive autonomy can be used to crcvte flexible nmlti-agcnt systems applicable to manufacturing environments.