First is design, and second is implementation
1. Recognise and differentiate between software agent technologies.
2. Evaluate an intelligent software agent’s characteristics, classification, suitable applications.
3. Critically evaluate the main issues surrounding the design of a multi-agent society.
Given the system design brief in Appendix A, design, discuss and critically evaluate a hypothetical multiagent-system.
You should consider the following in your discussion with reference to the literature, existing systems and the theoretical underpinnings of agent systems:
• The type and characteristics of each agent
• Knowledge representation
• Synchronisation and coordination techniques
• The technologies, frameworks and architectures that may be required to implement such a system.
You should use appropriate design notation and diagrams to support your discussion, demonstrating particular aspects of the system. These should be given in the appendix. During the design you may wish to consider which aspect/s you will want to implement in assignment 2.
Your essay is targeted at a word count of 2000 words. You must keep to this target and you must include the actual word count at the end of your submission. Submissions that are more than 10% above or below the target will be rejected unmarked. Appropriate appendices and references are not included in this word count.
Your written work must be submitted to UCBC via Turnitin on Moodle by the due date. Your work must be word-processed. All references should be formatted using the UCBC Referencing Guide (Harvard style). You MUST keep a copy of your work in case of loss or damage to the original. Work submitted late will only be accepted if your course tutor has granted permission in advance, and an extension form has been completed.
It is your responsibility to ensure that Moodle and the module tutor have received your submission. You are advised to keep copies of email receipts received and make no edits to your documents until you have confirmation your submission is successful. If you have any doubt as to your work being successfully submitted, you should present your work to the module tutor by 9am on the next working day. DO NOT email your work to your tutor unless specifically asked to.
LO Assessed Element Weighting
2 Clear and effective identification of agent types and their characteristics 20
3 Critical evaluation of knowledge representation 20
3 Critical evaluation of approaches to communications 20
3 Critical evaluation of Synchronisation and coordination techniques 20
1 Consideration and appraisal of appropriate technologies, frameworks and architectures 20
See supplementary sheet for detailed marking criteria descriptions at each grade band.
Students who do not submit their coursework by the published deadline, without an agreed extension, will have up to 72 hours (3 days) to make their submission. Where late submission deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday students should submit their work no later than 9am on the following Monday. Submissions received during this three-day period will result in a reduced grade as shown in the table below. After this period no submissions will be accepted and will be recorded as an F4 zero grade.
Quality of Work Grade Awarded Quality of Work Grade Awarded
A+ B+ C- D-
A B D+ F1
A- B- D
B+ C+ D-
B C F1 F2
B- C- F2 F3
C+ D+ F3 F4
C D F4
One area that agent systems are used effectively is the modelling of real world situations, via a simulation, to test multiple scenarios to find optimal solutions and break points (limitations).
Design a simple air traffic control simulation for a refuelling depot. The simulation should manage incoming planes and determine which runway they should land and take-off from, as well as which refuelling bay they should use. The purpose of this simulation is to be able to test how time, fuel consumption, the number of runways and the number of parking bays affect air traffic control decisions.
The hypothetical agent system should consider the following constraints:
Planes: can only initiate communications with air traffic control on arrival. After this time all communication is via the runway or parking bay supervisor, until they are airborne. They arrive at the depot with 50 litres of fuel that is used at 5 litres per minute when not on the ground. They will use 10 litres to land and taxi to a parking bay.
Air traffic control: can communicate with all supervisors and planes in flight. When a plan is on the ground direct communication with air traffic control is only permitted in emergency situations. They are responsible for organising and allocating runways and packing bays and when a plane can take-off and land.
Runway supervisors: There is a supervisor for each runway. They can can only communicate with planes (visually) on the runway and air traffic control (via radio). They are responsible for keeping track of whether the runway is clear or not, which plane is using it and whether or not it is incoming or outgoing. Planes may remain on the runway until a parking bay is free but that prevents the runway from being used for take-off or landing.
Parking bay supervisors: There is a parking bay supervisor for each refuelling point. They can only communicate with planes in the parking bay (visually) and air traffic control (via radio). They are responsible for keeping track of the number of empty and occupied bays and notify air traffic control when a plan has finished refuelling and is ready to resume service. A plane takes 20 minutes to refuel.
Your simulation should consider some mechanism for communicating and recording internal changes during the simulation. Your agents should use an appropriate communication protocol based on ACL. You should choose a suitable time-scale so the simulation can be run multiple times to test different variables.