Group Membership Services for Dynamically Organized Sensible Agent-Based Systems

K. S. Barber, R. M. McKay and T. H. Liu, University of Texas at Austin

To meet the requirements of dynamic and uncertain environments, Sensible Agents are capable of dynamically changing their organizational structures by modifying their roles, which are represented as their autonomy levels (e.g. command-driven, consensus, locally autonomous, and master). Maintaining correct knowledge of the current group membership is essential for Sensible Agents since such information impacts how an agent makes its decisions. This paper presents a group membership service designed for Sensible Agent-based systems to maintain agents’ model of group membership and to tolerate communication failures, process failures, and multiple partitions. A particular agent is selected as the manager to coordinate every agent’s view of the group membership. An algorithm (including merging partitions, suspecting and proving of agent failures) is presented to maintain group membership when agents join, leave, or partitions happen. A discussion of current work to implement our group membership services in a distributed simulation environment for Naval Radar Frequency Management domain is also discussed.

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