Multiple Agent Systems for Configuration Design
This paper investigates how the task of configuration design can be carried out using concepts of multiple agency. Configuration design is the task of selecting components from a predefined set to complete a system which meets a given functional specification and other design constraints. It is a class of task which is conventionally solved using a single agent reflecting an arbitrary balance of the design criteria chosen by the system designer. To study the efficacy of the multiple agent approach, we show how more of the original domain knowledge can be applied in an alternative form where each agent in a multiple agent design system has individual design goals and acts in negotiation with others in order to achieve those goals. Each agent's goal represents different domain axes upon which design decisions are based. At any point where different design decisions can be made, negotiation between these agents enables a balancing between the different agent's goals, and therefore these axes, to be achieved. Using the Sisyphus-2 benchmark configuration design problem, we will compare and contrast these methods to identify their relative merits.
Published in the proceedings of AISB'95. Sheffield, UK