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Engineering complex systems with multigroup agents

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As sensor prices drop and computing devices continue to become more compact and powerful, computing capabilities are being embedded throughout our physical environment. Connecting these devices in cyber-physical systems (CPS) enables applications with significant societal impact and economic benefit. However, engineering CPS poses modeling, architecture, and engineering challenges and, to fully realize the desired benefits, many outstanding challenges must be addressed. For the cyber parts of CPS, two decades of work in the design of autonomous agents and multiagent systems (MAS) offers design principles for distributed intelligent systems and formalizations for agent-oriented software engineering (AOSE). MAS foundations offer a natural fit for enabling distributed interacting devices. In some cases, complex control structures such as holarchies can be advantageous. These can motivate complex organizational strategies when implementing such systems with a MAS, and some designs may require agents to act in multiple groups simultaneously. Such agents must be able to manage their multiple associations and assignments in a consistent and unambiguous way. This thesis shows how designing agents as systems of intelligent subagents offers a reusable and practical approach to designing complex systems. It presents a set of flexible, reusable components developed for OBAA++, an organization-based architecture for single-group MAS, and shows how these components were used to develop the Adaptive Architecture for Systems of Intelligent Systems (AASIS) to enable multigroup agents suitable for complex, multigroup MAS. This work illustrates the reusability and flexibility of the approach by using AASIS to simulate a CPS for an intelligent power distribution system (IPDS) operating two multigroup MAS concurrently: one providing continuous voltage control and a second conducting discrete power auctions near sources of distributed generation. Keywords: Complex systems; Cyber-physical systems; Agent architectures; Distributed artificial Intelligence; Multiagent systems; Power distribution systems URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2097/19045
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... Agents in MAS can be assigned to various physical parts of PDS, and they can participate in the CPS via grid control and online auctions, forming an intelligent power distribution system (Case, 2015). ...
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