Multi-Agent Systems in Mobile Ad hoc Networks
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
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A number of technologies are evolving that will help formulate more adaptive and robust network architectures intended to operate in dynamic, mobile environments. One technology area, mobile ad hoc networking MANET enables self organizing, multi-hop heterogeneous network routing services and organization. Such technology is important in future DoD networking, especially in the forward edge of the battlespace where self-organizing, robust networking is needed. A second technology area, Multi-Agent Systems MAS can enable autonomous, team based problem solving under varying environmental conditions. Previous work done in MAS has assumed relatively benign wired network behavior and inter-agent communications characteristics that may not be well supported in MANET environments. In addition, the resource costs associated with performing inter-agent communications have a more profound impact in a mobile wireless environment. The combined operation of these technology areas, including cross-layer design considerations, has largely been unexplored to date. This paper describes ongoing research to improve the ability of these technologies to work in concert. An outline of various design and system architecture issues is first presented. We then describe models, agent systems, MANET protocols, and additional components that are being applied in our research. We present an analysis method to measure agent effectiveness and early evaluations of working prototypes within MANET environments. We conclude by outlining some open issues and areas of further work.
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