Practically Coordinating

  • Edmund H. Durfee


To coordinate, intelligent agents might need to know something about themselves, about each other, about how others view themselves and others, about how others think others view themselves and others, and so on. Taken to an extreme, the amount of knowledge an agent might possess to coordinate its interactions with others might outstrip the agent's limited reasoning capacity (its available time, memory, and so on). Much of the work in studying and building multiagent systems has thus been devoted to developing practical techniques for achieving coordination, typically by limiting the knowledge available to, or necessary for, agents. This article categorizes techniques for keeping agents suitably ignorant so that they can practically coordinate and gives a selective survey of examples of these techniques for illustration.