Multiagent Planning as a Social Process: Voting, Privacy, and Manipulation

Jeffrey S. Rosenschein

The essence of effective multiagent planning is to coordinate and merge the separate search activity of individual agents. When these agents are self-motivated, however, the coordination and merging process becomes more subtle---different agents are actually interested in transforming the world in different ways, and have an interest in influencing the group activity in certain directions. Under these circumstances, multiagent planning has to incorporate elements of consensus formation. Designed appropriately, the consensus process may be able to protect the group against manipulative individuals, and, as much as possible, maintain the privacy of agents’ preferences. This talk explores multiagent planning as a heuristic process of distributed search and merging, and in particular considers techniques (such as voting) that enable a group of self-motivated planning agents to reach consensus effectively.

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