MAGE: multi-agent game environment

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal


We study the use of games as a metaphor for building social interaction in norm-governed multi-agent systems. As part of our research we propose MAGE (Multi-Agent Game Environment) as a logic-based framework that represents complex agent interactions as games. MAGE seeks to (a) reuse existing computational techniques for defining event-based normative sys- tem and (b) complement these techniques with a coordination component to support complex interactions. A game in MAGE is defined by a state, a set of normative rules describing the valid moves at different states and a set of effect rules describing how the state evolves as a result of a move taking place. Given a specification of the normative rules, in the implementation of a game, we use game containers as components that mediate the moves of players by checking their compliance with the rules of the game and by maintaining the state of the game. The reuse part of MAGE relates physical actions that happen in an agent environment to valid moves of a game representing the social environment of an application. MAGE allows to model complex interactions from simpler atomic sub-games. In this context, we investigate how coordination patterns can be used to dynamically play more than one game in parallel, change the status of games or choose amongst games. For this purpose, we examine how to define compound games from atomic sub-games. Compound games are build by describing the conditions and the patterns that activate a sub- game and the coordination mechanisms of MAGE ensure that sub-games are activated according to how interactions are specified to evolve at run-time. To illustrate the MAGE approach, we discuss how to use the framework to specify the social interaction in two different scenarios: (i) Open-Packet- World - a simple simulation where agents compete to collect and deliver packets in a grid and (ii) an earth-observation application - where agents represent services, both for clients and providers, and negotiate the provision of these services by combining argumentation and communication protocols. We also use the Open-Packet-World scenario to evaluate the effectiveness of the framework. We show that we can effectively support at run-time a large- scale multi-agent systems regulated by norms. We conclude the dissertation by summarising our contributions and identifying areas for future work
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Stathis, Kostas, Supervisor, External person
Award date10 Mar 2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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