UG3/UG4 Agent-Based Systems 2015-16
A course about agents and multiagent systems for beginners
Multi-agent systems have emerged as one of the most important areas of
research and development in information technology. A multi-agent system is
one composed of multiple interacting software components known as agents,
which are typically capable of cooperating to solve problems that are beyond
the abilities of any individual member. Multi-agent systems are important
primarily because they have been found to have very wide applicability, in
areas as diverse as industrial process control and electronic commerce. This
module will begin by introducing the notion of an agent, discuss methods for how software and hardware can be constructed, how agents can be made to cooperate effectively with one-another to solve problems, and approaches to decision making in multiagent contexts.
- Audience: This is a level 10 course that can be taken in years 3 or 4 of an undergraduate Informatics degree programme, and by Informatics MSc students as part of the level 9/10 quota of introductory courses.
The University course descriptor outlines prerequisites and other administrative details, further information is provided at the Informatics course information page
- Course Lecturer: Michael Rovatsos, Informatics Forum 2.12, tel 6513263, email email@example.com (lectures, general course organisation, revision, exam setting)
- Teaching Assistant: TBD
- Timetable & Slides:
10:00-10:50 on Mondays and Thursdays in Semester 2 (location TBD)
- Video recordings of current lectures will be available from
Each student will be allocated to a tutorial group. Tutorials will be held once a
week throughout the semester, starting in week 3. Preparatory work for the tutorial will be assigned the following week and will be based on the previous week's work. Information on tutorial group allocation and tutorial times/venues is provided at this page (will be updated at start of semester)
- Coursework: Two items of assessed coursework are associated with the course each weighing 12.5% of the total mark for the course. The assignments will involve programming in Jason, a Prolog-like agent programming language, but no previous knowledge of the language is assumed. Both will be handed out on 14th January and will be due on 11th February and 10th March, respectively. A (very) brief introduction to Jason can be found here . A more detailed PDF documenting the InfoSpeak environment can be found here .
- Feedback: Coursework feedback and marks will be returned
within two weeks from the deadline. Apart from marks for every part of every assignment, individual feedback will consist of a short paragraph of text for every part of an assignment. Collective feedback describing the marking strategy and common mistakes, with suggestions for improvements, will be mailed out to the whole class. Course staff will make themselves available to provide additional one-to-one feedback in scheduled drop-in sessions.
- Past course survey and (somewhat outdated) intro video are here.
- Reading Material:
- Textbook: "An Introduction to MultiAgent Systems Second Edition", Michael Wooldridge, John Wiley & Sons, 2009.
- Note that there will be no lecture notes for this course, but assigned reading from this book will be associated with each lecture.
- Some material on basic mathematical notation to refresh your memory.
- Additional Reading:
- "Multiagent Systems: Algorithmic, Game-Theoretic, and Logical Foundations", Y. Shoham and K. Leyton-Brown, Cambridge UP, 2008.
- "Multi-Agent Systems", 2nd edition, G. Weiss, editor, The MIT Press, 2013.
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