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Introduction

Course Overview

Course Description:

Multiagent systems has emerged as an important research area with

applications in many fields of computer science, including artificial

intelligence, e-commerce, sensor networks, distributed computing and

information retrieval, information security, and robotics. In multiagent

systems, multiple autonomous entities with their own objectives have

to interact and make decisions. This course explores techniques for

the modeling, design, decision making, and communication in these

systems. While the course will focus on frameworks, methodologies,

and algorithms, it will investigate (and illustrate) them in the context

of a wide range of application areas, including multi-robot systems,

distributed scheduling and resource allocation, sensor networks,

distributed information extraction, and network security.

Course Overview

Course Topics:

Representations and modeling

Game theory:

Matrix and repeat games, stochastic and Bayesian games

Auction mechanisms

Sealed bid and Vickrey auctions, English and Dutch

auctions, combinatorial auctions

Multiagent Communication

Multiagent Learning

Coalitional Game Theory

© Manfred Huber 2018 3

Course Overview

Prerequisites:

Many of the techniques covered in this course are based on

probabilities and random processes and a basic background in

statistics is required for the course (CSE 5301 or equivalent).

In addition, experience with Algorithms (CSE 5311), Artificial

Intelligence (CSE 5360), and programming will be useful to

perform assignments and projects

Course Overview

Course Page and Materials

Textbook:

Y. Shoham, K. Leyton-Brown, Multiagent Systems: Algorithmic, Game-

Theoretic, and Logical Foundations, Cambridge Press, 2009.

(Available at http://www.masfoundations.org/downloading.html )

http://www-cse.uta.edu/~huber/cse6369_multi-agent.

E-Mail: huber@cse.uta.edu

M 2:00-2:45, W 7:00-8:00, Th 2:00-3:00 ERB 128 or ERB 522

© Manfred Huber 2018 5

Course Overview

Course Work:

In-class presentation of a technical paper

Two homework assignments:

Two small projects

Final course project

Grading Policy:

Presentation \& Class Participation 15 %

Assignments 30 %

Projects 30 %

Final Project 25 %

© Manfred Huber 2018 6

Multiagent Systems and

Distributed Decision Making

Multiagent Systems:

A system consisting of multiple agents that interact (directly or

indirectly through the environment) and reason and make

decisions individually (generally with incomplete local

information).

Centralized Systems:

A central coordinator determines the actions that each agent in the

system should take

Distributed Systems:

Each agent has to determine the action to be taken (including the

exchange of information) based on its local information

Collaborative and Competitive

Systems

Collaborative Multiagent Systems:

Agents have the same desires

Well defined optimality

Issues:

Coordination between distributed agents

Communication and bandwidth

Competitive Multiagent Systems:

Different desires for different agents

Optimality only defined for individual agents

Issues:

Optimal decision making

Interpretation of communication (agents can lie)

© Manfred Huber 2018 8

Multiagent Decision Making

Agents and Rationality

To make decisions, agents have to be able to

determine what action is the best for them.

Rationality:

highest payoff for them (self-interest)

Rational agents do not take actions to harm others

Payoff is quantified in terms of utility

Maximizing an agent’s utility is not always rational

The Commons problem

Multiagent Decision Making

Multiagent Decisions:

In competitive systems (even deterministic ones)

optimal decisions often have to be

nondeterministic

An agent’s utility achieved depends not only on

its own actions but also on the actions of the

other agents

Decision Theory:

Combines probability, utility theory and rationality

to allow an agent to determine the best action in a

given situation

Multiagent Systems

Background - Probability

Probability

Bayesian probabilities summarize the effects

of uncertainty on the state of knowledge

Probabilities represent the values of statistics

P(o) = (# of times of outcome o) / (# of outcomes)

All types of uncertainty are incorporated into a

single number

P(H | E)

Probabilities follow a set of strict axioms

Probability

Random variables define the entities of

probability theory

Propositional random variables:

E.g.: IsRed, Earthquake

Multivalued random variables:

E.g.: Color, Weather

Potentially Real-Valued

E.g.: Height, Weight

© Manfred Huber 2018 13

Axioms of Probability

Probability follows a fixed set of rules

Propositional random variables:

P(A) [0..1]

P(T) = 1 , P(F) = 0

P(AB) = P(A) + P(B) – P(AB)

P(AB) = P(A) P(B|A)

xValues(X) P(X=x) = 1

Probability Syntax

Unconditional or prior probabilities represent

the state of knowledge before new

observations or evidence

P(H)

A probability distribution gives values for all

possible assignments to a random variable

A joint probability distribution gives values

for all possible assignments to all random

variables

© Manfred Huber 2018 15

Conditional Probability

Conditional probabilities represent the

probability after certain observations or

facts have been considered

P(H|E) is the posterior probability of H

after evidence E is taken into account

Bayes rule allows to derive posterior

probabilities from prior probabilities

P(H | E) = P(E | H) P(H)/P(E)

© Manfred Huber 2018 16

Conditional Probability

Probability calculations can be

conditioned by conditioning all terms

Often it is easier to find conditional

probabilities

Conditions can be removed by

marginalization

P(H) = E P(H|E) P(E)

Joint Distributions

A joint distribution defines the

probability values for all possible

assignments to all random variables

Exponential in the number of random

variables

Conditional probabilities can be computed

from a joint probability distribution

P(A|B) = P(AB)/P(B)

© Manfred Huber 2018 18

Inference

Inference in probabilistic representation

involves the computation of

(conditional) probabilities from the

available information

Most frequently the computation of a

posterior probability P(H|E) form a prior

probability P(H) and new evidence E

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