Exploring Organizational Designs with TAEMS: A Case Study of Distributed Data Processing

M. V. Nagendra Prasad, University of Massachusetts, Keith Decker, Carnegie Mellon University, Alan Garvey and Victor Lesser, University of Massachusetts, USA

When we design multi-agent systems for realistic, worth-oriented environments, solving the coordination problems they present involves understanding the intricate and sophisticated interplay between the domain and the various system components. In this paper, we examine this interplay using TAEMS and the GPGP (generalized partial global planning) approach as a tool for quickly exploring multiple alternative organizations/coordination strategies. We illustrate the flexibility of TAEMS-style task structures for representing interesting multi-criteria coordination problems, and the use of a new grammar-based generation tool to allow quicker task structure experimentation. Using distributed data processing as an example domain, we show how different coordination algorithms of varying sophistication give rise to subtle effects in functionally-structured agent organizations with interrelationships between functions. The experiments presented in our paper serve to illustrate our claim about the generality and flexibility of the TAEMS representation for coordination problems and the grammar-based generators for modeling domain semantics and experimenting with different aspects of such domains.

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