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Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems

2019-2020

Syllabus (with reading list).

 

Schedule of classes, with references to reading material and other readings.
Please check this schedule regularly, as it will be often updated!

Date

Topic

Reference to reading material

Other readings

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Introduction to agents and multiagent systems

Chapter 1, Sections 1-2; Chapter 2, Sections 1-3

An interesting discussion on the role and the potential of agent-based systems in applications has been triggered by the following editorial:

James Handler, “Where Are All the Intelligent Agents?”, IEEE Intelligent Systems, 22(3):2-3,  May/June 2007.

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/tocresult.jsp?isYear=2007&isnumber=4216968&Submit32=Go+To+Issues

 

An answer, which highlights the idea that agents can be more conveniently intended as a design paradigm than as an implementation technology, has been given by Peter McBurney and Michael Luck:

Peter McBurney, Michael Luck, “The Agents Are All Busy Doing Stuff!”, IEEE Intelligent Systems, 22(4):6-7,  July/August 2007.

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/tocresult.jsp?isYear=2007&isnumber=4287261&Submit32=Go+To+Issues

 

(The above documents may be accessed, following the reported links, from within the Politecnico network.)

 

A survey on the field of autonomous agents and multiagent systems is reported in:

Special issue “Ten Years of Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems”, AI Magazine, 33(3):11-105, Fall 2012.
http://www.aaai.org/ojs/index.php/aimagazine/issue/view/199/showToc

 

A blog post discussing some companies that apply multiagent approaches and technologies is available here:

https://medium.com/@Francesco_AI/distributed-artificial-intelligence-3e3491e0771c 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Architectures for intelligent agents

Chapter 1, Section 3

 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Architectures for intelligent agents

Chapter 1, Section 3

A description of Markov decision processes is reported in the Chapter 3 of the following book:

Richard Sutton, Andrew Barto, Reinforcement Learning: An Introduction, second edition, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2018.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1opPSz5AZ_kVa1uWOdOiveNiBFiEOHjkG/view

Friday, September 27, 2019

NO CLASS

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Basics of game theory

Chapter 17

The general theme of the growing interactions between computer science and game theory is discussed in the following article:

Yoav Shoham, “Computer Science and Game Theory”, Communications of the ACM, 51(8):74-79, August 2008.

http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1378704.1378721&coll=portal&dl=ACM&idx=1378704&part=periodical&WantType=periodical&title=Communications%20of%20the%20ACM&CFID=11223344&CFTOKEN=44332211

(The above document may be accessed, following the reported link, from within the Politecnico network.)

 

A blog on Algorithmic Game Theory is:

http://agtb.wordpress.com/

 

The hypothesis of rationality for human players is problematic. For an informal discussion, see for example:

Kaushik Basu, “The Traveler’s Dilemma”, Scientific American, June 2007.

http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~robins/The_Travelers_Dilemma.pdf

The Italian translation of the same article appeared on “Le Scienze”:

Kaushik Basu, “Il dilemma del viaggiatore”, Le Scienze, 468, agosto 2007.

http://lescienze.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/Il_dilemma_del_viaggiatore/1309086

The topic is discussed also on the following forum:
http://www.matematicamente.it/f/viewtopic.php?t=20780

Friday, October 4, 2019

Basics of game theory

Chapter 17

An introduction to the iterated prisoner’s dilemma is available at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner's_dilemma

 

A software program that demonstrates the Axelrod’s experiments is available at:

http://www.econ.iastate.edu/tesfatsi/demos/axelrod/axelrodt.htm

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Negotiation

Chapter 4, Sections 1-3

 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Negotiation

Chapter 4, Section 3 and notes

Notes on monotonic concession protocol and Zeuthen strategy:

http://home.deib.polimi.it/amigoni/teaching/NotesAAMAS2017-2018.pdf

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Exercises on negotiation

 

 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Voting

Chapter 6, Sections 1-3

An interesting survey of some voting mechanisms is reported in:

Steven Brams,  Peter Fishburn, “Alternative Voting Systems”, in L. Sandy Maisel (ed.), Political Parties and Elections in the United States: An Encyclopedia, vol. 1, Garland, New York, USA, p. 23-31, 1991.

http://bcn.boulder.co.us/government/approvalvote/altvote.html

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Voting

Chapter 6, Section 3

An example of (human-related) strategic manipulation of voting is discussed by (in Italian):

Rossella Quaranta, “La volta che gli Stati Uniti quasi abolirono la pena di morte”, Il Post, September 15, 2013.
http://www.ilpost.it/2013/09/15/corte-suprema-abolizione-pena-di-morte-stati-uniti/

Friday, October 25, 2019

Auctions

Chapter 7, Sections 1 and 5

eBay offers a service that, basically, implements a strategy for an English auction: bid the current price plus a small amount until the reservation price is reached; further details at the page:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/buy/automatic-bidding.html

 

A mechanism based on automatic auctions can be employed to determine the ranking and the number of advertisements displayed with search results:

Yuko Sakurai, Atsushi Iwasaki, Makoto Yokoo, “Keyword Auction Protocol for Dynamically Adjusting the Number of Advertisements”, Proceedings of the “2008 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology”, pages 410-416, 9-12 December 2008.
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=4740658&isnumber=4740584

(The above document may be accessed, following the reported link, from within the Politecnico network.)

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Auctions

Chapter 7, Section 7 and notes

Notes on depth-first branch-and-bound search algorithm for solving the winner determination problem in combinatorial auctions:

http://home.deib.polimi.it/amigoni/teaching/NotesAAMAS2017-2018.pdf

Friday, November 1, 2019

NO CLASS

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

NO CLASS

Friday, November 8, 2019

Exercises on auctions

 

 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Coalition formation

Chapter 8, Sections 1-3 (except Sections 3.2, 3.4-3.5)

 

Friday, November 15, 2019

Coalition formation

Chapter 8, Section 5 (except Sections 5.3, 5.5-5.6) and notes

Notes on the distributed algorithm for finding the best coalition structure:

http://home.deib.polimi.it/amigoni/teaching/NotesAAMAS2017-2018.pdf

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Multiagent planning

Chapter 11, Sections 1-2, 5 (except Section 5.3)

 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Exercises on coalition formation

 

 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Multiagent planning

Chapter 11, Section 5 (except Section 5.3)

Refer to Sections 2-4 of the following paper for an exhaustive algorithm that finds the optimal joint policy for a DEC-POMDP:

R. Nair, M. Tambe, M. Yokoo, D. Pynadath, and S. Marsella, “Taming Decentralized POMDPs: Towards Efficient Policy Computation for Multiagent Settings”, Proceedings of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), p. 705-711, 2003.

http://teamcore.usc.edu/nair/publications/nair-ijcai03.pdf

Friday, November 29, 2019

Distributed constraint optimization

Chapter 12, Sections 1-4 (except Section 4.1)

 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Distributed constraint optimization

Chapter 12, Sections 4-5 (except Sections 4.1 and 5.1)

 

Friday, December 6, 2019

Multiagent learning

Chapter 10, Sections 1-3

Refer to Sections 2, 5 of the following paper for a more complete illustration of stochastic games:

Junling Hu and Michael Wellman, “Nash Q-Learning for General-Sum Stochastic Games”, Journal of Machine Learning Research, 4:1039-1069, 2003.
http://www.jmlr.org/papers/volume4/hu03a/hu03a.pdf

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Exercises on distributed constraint optimization

 

 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Applications of agent-based systems

 

Roundtable with representatives of some companies, in cooperation with the Career Service

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Multiagent learning

Chapter 10, Section 3

Refer to Sections 3, 5 of the following paper for a more complete illustration of the Nash-Q learning algorithm:

Junling Hu and Michael Wellman, “Nash Q-Learning for General-Sum Stochastic Games”, Journal of Machine Learning Research, 4:1039-1069, 2003.
http://www.jmlr.org/papers/volume4/hu03a/hu03a.pdf

Friday, December 20, 2019

Multiagent learning

Chapter 10, Section 4

Slides on evolutionary game theory by prof. Nicola Gatti:

http://home.deib.polimi.it/amigoni/teaching/MultiagentLearning-EvolutionaryGameTheory.pdf

 

Applications of agent-based systems

Slides on applications of agent systems in space by prof. Michèle Lavagna:

http://home.deib.polimi.it/amigoni/teaching/AgentsInSpace.pdf

 

An agent-based system for controlling a manufacturing plant is described in:

Klaus Schild, Stefan Bussmann, “Self-Organization in Manufacturing Operations”, Communications of the ACM, 50(12):74-79, December 2007.

http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1323688.1323698

(The above document may be accessed, following the reported link, from within the Politecnico network.)

 

Interesting applications of the agent paradigm (although not always implemented with agent technologies) are relative to social simulations, as in the case of the system described in (in Italian):

Pietro Terna, Riccardo Taormina, “Modelli di simulazione con agenti intelligenti: il sorprendente mondo dei camaleonti”, Sistemi intelligenti, XIX(3): 391-426, dicembre 2007.

http://web.econ.unito.it/terna/deposito/si_rn_abm_camaleonti_terna_taormina_v2.1_post_pubblicazione.pdf

 

Following the same approach, there are also agent-based models for simulating economic markets:

http://www.anl.gov/Media_Center/News/2008/DIS081114.html
Maria Fasli, Micheal Michalakopoulos, “e-Game: A platform for developing auction-based market simulations”, Decision Support Systems, 44(2):469-481, January 2008.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=MImg&_imagekey=B6V8S-4P1P6PJ-1-7&_cdi=5878&_user=2620285&_orig=search&_coverDate=01/31/2008&_sk=999559997&view=c&wchp=dGLzVtb-zSkWz&md5=2530360c00c3576692fa7ca71cf45a71&ie=/sdarticle.pdf

(The above document may be accessed, following the reported link, from within the Politecnico network.)

 

A recent and very interesting application of the agent paradigm (also in this case not implemented with agent technologies) is the High-Frequency-Trading that is substituting human brokers:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/07/-it-sounds-like-something.ars

 

Communication between agents

 

Software tools for developing agent-based systems and introduction to JADE

The FIPA (Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents) site is:

http://www.fipa.org/

In particular, the specifications of the FIPA ACL communication acts and of their semantics are collected in the following document:

http://www.fipa.org/specs/fipa00037/SC00037J.pdf

 

Slides on software tools for developing agent-based systems by Francesco Di Giunta (in Italian):

http://home.dei.polimi.it/amigoni/teaching/ToolkitPerSistemiMultiagente.pdf

 

Slides on introduction to JADE by Francesco Di Giunta (in Italian):

http://home.dei.polimi.it/amigoni/teaching/IntroduzioneAJADE.pdf      

 

In order to take an exam, it is mandatory to register by the deadline using Online Services. 

 

2018-2019

January 9, 2019 exam: questions (with answers).

February 11, 2019 exam: questions (with answers).

  

2017-2018

January 15, 2018 exam: questions (with answers).

February 6, 2018 exam: questions (with answers).

 

2016-2017

February 8, 2017 exam: questions (with answers).

March 1, 2017 exam: questions (with answers).

 

2015-2016

February 5, 2016 exam: questions (with answers).

February 29, 2016 exam: questions (with answers).

 

2014-2015

February 11, 2015 exam: questions (with answers).

March 4, 2015 exam: questions (with answers).

 

2013-2014

February 12, 2014 exam: questions (with answers).

February 27, 2014 exam: questions (with answers).

 

2012-2013

February 6, 2013 exam: questions (with answers).

February 27, 2013 exam: questions (with answers).

 

2011-2012

February 8, 2012 exam: questions (with answers).

March 7, 2012 exam: questions (with answers).

 

2010-2011

February 2, 2011 exam: questions (with answers).
February 23, 2011 exam: questions (with answers).

June 29, 2011 exam: questions (with answers).

2009-2010

February 1, 2010 exam: questions (with answers).
February 24, 2010 exam: questions (with answers).
July 5, 2010 exam: questions (with answers).
September 10, 2010 exam: questions (with answers).
September 17, 2010 exam: questions (with answers).

Sample exams from past years are available at the page of the Agenti Autonomi e Sistemi Multiagente course (in Italian).


December 3, 2019