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We consider the problem of how to design large decentralized multi-agent systems (MAS's) in an automated fashion, with little or no hand-tuning. Our approach has each agent run a reinforcement learning algorithm. This converts the problem into one of how to automatically set/update the reward functions for each of the agents so that the global goal is achieved. In particular we do not want the agents to "work at cross-purposes" as far as the global goal is concerned. We use the term artificial COllective INtelligence (COIN) to refer to systems that embody solutions to this problem. In this paper we present a summary of a mathematical framework for COINs. We then investigate the real-world applicability of the core concepts of that framework via two computer experiments: we show that our COINs perform near optimally in a difficult variant of Arthur's bar problem (and in particular avoid the tragedy of the commons for that problem), and we also illustrate optimal performance for our COINs in the leader-follower problem.

@inproceedings{tumer-wolpert_agents99, author = {D. H. Wolpert and K. Wheeler and K. Tumer}, title = {General Principles of Learning-Based Multiagent Systems}, booktitle={Proceedings of the Third International Conference of Autonomous Agents}, pages = {77-83}, month = {May}, abstract = {We consider the problem of how to design large decentralized multi-agent systems (MAS's) in an automated fashion, with little or no hand-tuning. Our approach has each agent run a reinforcement learning algorithm. This converts the problem into one of how to automatically set/update the reward functions for each of the agents so that the global goal is achieved. In particular we do not want the agents to "work at cross-purposes" as far as the global goal is concerned. We use the term artificial COllective INtelligence (COIN) to refer to systems that embody solutions to this problem. In this paper we present a summary of a mathematical framework for COINs. We then investigate the real-world applicability of the core concepts of that framework via two computer experiments: we show that our COINs perform near optimally in a difficult variant of Arthur's bar problem (and in particular avoid the tragedy of the commons for that problem), and we also illustrate optimal performance for our COINs in the leader-follower problem.}, bib2html_pubtype = {Refereed Conference Papers}, bib2html_rescat = {Multiagent Systems, Reinforcement Learning}, year = {1999} }

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