CSCE 475/875

Multiagent Systems


Class Syllabus

Spring 2006




Name:††††††††††††† Prof. Leen-Kiat Soh

E-mail:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Phone: (402) 472-6738

Office: 122E Avery Hall†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Office Hours:††† 12:30 Ė 2:00 PM TR

Class Time:†††† 11:00-12:15 PM TR†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Classroom: ††††† 203 Burnett Hall



Class Objectives


This class will introduce you to the research topic of multiagent systems (MAS), including what a MAS is, what agents are, and what are the disadvantages and advantages of such a system in what types of applications.We will address issues in distributed problem solving and planning, search algorithms for agents, distributed rational decision making, learning in multiagent systems, computational organization theory, and formal methods in Distributed Artificial Intelligence (DAI).We will also look into multiagent negotiations, emergent behaviors (such as ants and swarms), and Robocup technologies.Time permitting, we will also look into research in real-time coalition formation.


The course materials in this class are based on the textbook and journal/conference papers.


Required Background


Prerequisites: CSCE 310 (Data Structures & Algorithms required).


Text Book


G. Weiss, (Ed.), "Multiagent Systems: A Modern Approach to Distributed Artificial Intelligence," MIT Press, 1999.




Final grades in this class will be assigned based on the following scale:


A:†††††††† 94% - 100%

A-:†††††† 90% - 93%

B+:†††††† 86% - 89%

B:†††††††† 80% - 85%

C+: †††† 76% - 79%

C:†††††††† 70% - 75%

D+:††††† 66% - 69%

D:†††††††† 60% - 65%

F:†††††††† below 60%


A+ is awarded to a student whose work and understanding of the class prove to be exceptional.


There will be about 8 topic summaries (20%), class participation (including game days) (20%), one mid-term examination (20%), one seminar presentation (group) (10%), and one final project (group) (30%).


Topic summaries are written summaries (2-3 pages) of each topic we cover in class.Specific requirements will be given before each summary assignment.Your summary will be based on my lecture, the textbook and other papers.Your summary should include at least the following (a) an overview of the topic Ė motivations and underlying principles, etc., (b) a list of praises: a description of what you think are the important/useful aspects of the topic, (c) a list of critiques: a description of what you think are the weaknesses of topic, (d) a list of wishes: what areas of the topic do you think that should be improved, and (e) a list of questions on material that you did not understand from the lectures and reading materials.†† You will also be required to respond to stupid questions.The summaries will be graded based on:


10% Overview

††††††††††† 15% Praises

††††††††††† 15% Critiques

††††††††††† 15% Wishes

††††††††††† 15% Questions

††††††††††† 10% Response to Stupid Questions

††††††††††† 10% Grammar and Errors

††††††††††† 10% Requirements


The seminar presentation is for the students to present technical papers in the area of MAS, agents, and distributed AI.The list of papers will be provided to the students to select from.These will be graded based on:


††††††††††† 50% Summary of Paper

††††††††††† 20% Organization

††††††††††† 20% Conclusions: Comparisons, Insights, etc.

††††††††††† 15% Q&A and Participation


The final project will be for a game-playing contest (Agent Reputation and Trust (ART)).It will be graded in 2 parts: programming (50%) and report (50%).The programming part will be graded based on:


45% Program Correctness

15% Software Design

10% Programming Style

15% Testing

15% Documentation


The report will be graded based on:


50% Design Description and Discussion

25% Organization

15% Requirements

10% Grammar and Errors


The class participation is based on the instructorís subjective evaluation of each studentís activity in class.Students are expected to interact with the instructors in class and participate actively during the lectures.Also, there will be 3-4 special game days planned for the semester: Auction Day, Allocation Day, Coalition Day, and Negotiation Day.On each of these days, you will be required to pit what you have learned in the class against your classmates in various contests.You participation on those days will be evaluated.Your written reports for those days will be counted as participation as well.


In general, students registered for CSCE875 will be given additional questions or activities for most of the assignments.†††


Academic Misconduct


Violations of academic integrity will result in automatic failure of the class and referral to the proper university officials.The work a student submits in a class is expected to be the studentís own work and must be work completed for that particular class and assignment.Students wishing to build on an old project or work on a similar topic in two classes must discuss this with both professors.Academic dishonesty includes: handling in anotherís work or part of anotherís work as your own, turning in one of your old papers for a current class, or turning in the same or similar paper for two different classes.Using notes or other study aids or otherwise obtaining anotherís answers for an examination also represents a breach of academic integrity.Sanctions are applied whether the violation was intentional or not.


To help avoid these problems, please start assignments early and seek help when you need it.