CSCE990 Advanced Multiagent Systems

Collaborative Wiki Essays Assignment

January 11, 2013


Collaborative wiki essays are written summaries of topics that we cover in class.  The summary will be based on my lectures, the textbook, and other papers.  Your summary should include at least the following (1) an overview of the topic – motivations and underlying principles, etc., (2) critical issues about the topic, and (3) your big-picture view on the importance of the topic in the larger research community of multiagent systems. 

You will use an online wiki tool called the Written Agora (  All of your actions will be tracked and recorded while you are working on the assignment online. 

You are allowed to search online for information to help you write your topic summary.  However, anything used must be formally cited.   That is, you must have a References section in your summary.  Further, you are not allowed to cite web URLs.  Links are not allowed.  Furthermore, you are not allowed to cite Wikipedia pages.  You might find, however, references that are useful on Wikipedia, and may pursue those references, and then cite those references properly in your summary.  Each summary will be submitted to Blackboard’s SafeAssign tool to check for excessive similarity with other online texts.

Collaborative Contributions

On the Wiki tool, you will be allowed to rate and tag essays and participate in threaded forum discussions.  You will be also encouraged to contribute to other essays. 

How the Assignment Works

Every student is assigned to be responsible for one topic.  So, each topic will have only one primary contributor.  And each student will have only one primary topic.  Now, every student is required to contribute to all other topics.  The contributions could be any of the collaborative activities listed above.  In general, the higher the quality and quantity of your contributions (i.e., actual contributions to essays, participation in forum discussions, rating essays, and tagging keywords), the more points you will receive. 

There are two deadlines:

1.     Deadline 1:  Primary Contribution (April 08, 2013).  This is when every student’s primary topic will be “snap-shot” and “graded”.  Before this deadline, a student is only allowed to contribute to its own Wiki essay.  After this deadline, your Wiki essay will be open to all to edit.

2.     Deadline 2:  Collaborative Contribution (April 22, 2013).  This is when every student’s collaborative collaborations will be “snap-shot” and “graded”.


Your Wiki assignment will be graded based on this:

55% Contributions

            20% Timeliness

            20% Discussions (Forum)

            5% Rating and Tagging

Your contributions will be 80% x your primary contribution + 20% x your contributions to other essays. 

The Topics

Each student will be primarily responsible for his or her seminar topics.  When a seminar topic is by the instructor, there will be no primary contribution.  So, each student will have to contribute to these topics.  The first topic is thus “Multiagent Systems: A Distributed, Bottom Approach to Solving Complex Problems”.

To Begin

To start using the wiki, please follow these steps:

1)    Go to the wiki webpage (

2)    Log in to the system

a.    Hover your mouse over the “ACCOUNTS” menu in the top right of the page

b.    Choose “Log in”

c.     Sign in with your Google account (e.g., a Gmail account).  If you do not have a Google account, please create one by clicking on the “Sign up” button in the top right of the Google account sign in page, then follow the instructions.

3)    Join the “CSCE 990 Spring 2013” group to participate in the assignment

a.    After logging in, hover your mouse over your name in the top right of the wiki

b.    Choose “Join Group”

c.     Find the group “CSCE 990 Spring 2013” in the list and click on it

d.    Click on the “Join” button

e.    In the next few days, an administrator will approve your join request.

Please follow these instructions as soon as possible.  You will not be able to participate in the assignment until your join request has been approved.

For instructions explaining how to use the wiki software (as well as a description of available features), please click on the Help icon (the question mark) on the top right of the wiki webpage, next to the search box.