Centralized, Distributed or Something Else? Making Timely Decisions in Multi-Agent Systems

Tim Harbers, Rajiv T. Maheswaran, Pedro Szekely

In multi-agent systems, agents need to share information in order to make good decisions. Who does what in order to achieve this matters a lot. The assignment of responsibility influences delay and consequently affects agents' abilities to make timely decisions. It is often unclear which approaches are best. We develop a model where one can easily test the impact of different assignments and information sharing protocols by focusing only on the delays caused by computation and communication. Using the model, we obtain interesting results that provide insight about the types of assignments that perform well in various domains and how slight variations in protocols can make great differences in feasibility.

Subjects: 7.1 Multi-Agent Systems; 7. Distributed AI

Submitted: Apr 24, 2007

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