Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Computer Science and Engineering
Technical Report # TR-UNL-CSE-2002-0002


In this paper we describe a coalition formation model for a cooperative multiagent system in which each agent has incomplete information about its dynamic and uncertain world and must respond to sensed events within time constraints. With incomplete information and uncertain world parameters while lacking time, an agent cannot afford organizing a rationally optimal coalition formation. Instead, our agents use a two-stage methodology. When an agent detects an event in the world, it first compiles a list of coalition candidates that it thinks would be useful, and then negotiates with the candidates. A negotiation is an exchange of information and knowledge for constraint satisfaction until both parties agree on a deal or one opts out. Each successful negotiation adds a new member to the agent’s final coalition. The agent that initiates the coalition needs to determine the task distribution among the members of the coalition and designs its coalition strategy to increase the chance of successfully forming a working coalition. Since the environment is dynamic, noisy, and the agents are resource-constrained, agents must form the working coalition to react to events as soon as possible and with whatever partial information they currently hold.