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Assessing the role of Multi-Agent Coordination and Control as an independent engineering discipline

Objective

Coordination and control is a research domain whose potential is growing continuously with the ever-increasing penetration of computers, sensors, actuators, communication and software in the artefacts we develop. Moreover, coordination and control are intrinsic to human society just as speech, vision and natural language are. Agent technology is widely considered to be a most promising candidate for addressing the challenges in this research domain in a generic manner. The proposed assessment project aims to establish whether it is possible to develop generic coordination and control functionality and support across a wide range of application domains based on multi-agent technology. The project assesses whether sufficient grounds exist for establishing multi-agent coordination and control as a technology domain (like the domains for vision, natural language and speech, which already exist today).

OBJECTIVES
The proposed assessment project aims to establish whether it is possible to develop generic coordination and control functionality and support across a wide range of application domains based on multi-agent technology. The project assesses whether sufficient grounds exist for establishing multi-agent coordination and control as an independent technology domain (like the domains for vision, natural language and speech, which already exist today).

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
The project distinguishes:
1. Reference application domains, in which the consortium has expertise and in which a significant level of know-how is available. These are motion control and manufacturing control;
2. Target application domains, which are socio-economically important.

This set of domains contains traffic coordination and control as well as the coordination and control of advanced energy suppliers and smart energy consumers. The reference domains serve as a source for identifying coordination and control functionality and/or solutions that are candidates for generalisation into generic solutions. The target domains serve for verification whether the candidate generic solutions are valid. The project first identifies the collection of target domains. Next, the project develops a coordination and control vision or roadmap for the target domains. For one primary target domain, i.e. intelligent traffic systems, such vision/roadmap will be elaborated in detail. The project also identifies the coordination and control functionality/solutions from the reference domains that are candidates for generalisation. The activities described so far constitute the first phase of the assessment project. In the second phase, a collection of generalised functionality for coordination and control will be elaborated. Also, a set of requirements for coordination and control technology will be extracted from the visions/roadmaps. The result of this activity implicitly defines a research agenda through the identification of what can/should be developed. The nature of the items on this research agenda clarifies what kind of research is indicated (basic, long-term, industrial, etc). Finally, for a small subset of the above collection, a proof-of-concept solution will be designed and implemented in simulation.

Funding Scheme

ACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures

Coordinator

KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
Address
Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven
Belgium

Participants (1)

SYDDANSK UNIVERSITET
Denmark
Address
Campusvej 55
Odense M