A Multi-Agent Approach to the Design of Coordination Mechanisms

Carla Simone, Monica Divitini, Kjeld Schmidt, Peter Carstersen

In the area of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCVO, a crucial issue is to devise computational Coordination Mechanisms (CMs) that provide support for cooperating actors in managing the complexity of articulating their distributed and yet interdependent activities. The concept of CM has been developed as a generalization of phenomena described in different ways in different empirical investigations. These show that the articulation of distributed activities requires support by means of category of symbolic artefacts which, in the context of a set of procedures and conventions, stipulate and mediate articulation work. From the evidence of empirical studies, we have derived a set of general requirements for CMs and, by implication, for a general enviroment for constructing such CMs.

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