AAAI 2004 Workshop on

Forming and Maintaining Coalitions in Adaptive Multiagent Systems


Call for Participants

Actual CFP


Deadline: March 12, 2004


This workshop will focus on the issues of coalitions in dynamic multi-agent systems: specifically, on issues surrounding the formation of coalitions among possibly self-interested individuals, and on how coalitions adapt to change in dynamic settings through the choices of individual members.


Traditionally, an agent with complete information can rationalize to form optimal coalitions with its neighbors for problem solving.  However, in a noisy and dynamic environment where events occur rapidly, information cannot be relayed among the agents frequently enough, centralized updates and polling are expensive, and the supporting infrastructure may partially fail, agents will be forced to form sub-optimal coalitions.  Similarly, in such environments, changes in environmental dynamics may invalidate some of the reasons for the original existence of a coalition.  In this case, individual agents may influence the objectives of coalition, encourage new members and reject others, and the coalition as a whole adapts as a larger organism.  In such settings, agents need to reason, with the primary objective of forming a successful coalition rather than an optimal one, and in influencing the coalition (or forming new coalitions) to suit its changing needs.  This includes reasoning about task allocation, the needs of self and others, information exchange, uncertainty and information incompleteness, coalition formation strategies, learning of better formation strategies, and others.


Some of the questions to be considered are:

·        What mechanisms are appropriate for forming long-term coalitions in distributed systems, such as P2P?

·        What types (or extent) of representation, including modeling of others, is necessary in satisfactory coalition formation and maintenance?  How parsimonious can representation be?

·        How can an agent balance staying with a coalition that is less than perfectly effective as opposed to forming new coalitions in the face of change?

·        What kind of effects can an individual agent have on the focus or purpose of a coalition in an adaptive system?

·        What about the effects of trust, ability, and deception in heterogeneous systems under these conditions?

·        How do issues of agent authority assist in forming coalitions and allowing them to adapt over time?

·        When agents leave a coalition, how does the vacancy in the role the agent played change the coalition? Can tasks be reallocated, membership criteria change, or other value added to the coalition to supplement this vacancy? Is this done through authority/committee or individual influence?

·        How can agents distribute tasks, resources, costs, and profits among the coalition to be able to persuade other agents to join the coalition in the first place, and the reward the agents after the coalition is completed?

·        Which agent should be responsible for manipulating a coalition to make it reachable and reliable for its members in a dynamic environment?

·        How to name or label a coalition to distinguish it from other coalitions?

·        How can interesting solutions to the above questions be developed and deployed in real systems?



Participants with paper accepted will automatically be invited to the workshop.  Researchers who are interested in the workshop will be invited by the committee.  Interested researchers are encouraged to e-mail the workshop chair.


Format of Workshop

The tentative format for the workshop consists of two general sessions.  Each session will include 7-8 presentations (about 20 minutes each) and a one-hour discussion.


Submission Requirements

Potential participants should submit either an extended abstract (up to 3 pages) or an original technical paper (up to 10 pages) including keywords and authors’ complete addresses. Submit electronically (in PS or PDF format) to


Workshop Chair

Leen-Kiat Soh

Computer Science and Engineering

University of Nebraska

115 Ferguson Hall

Lincoln, NE 68588-0115


tel:(402) 472-6738

fax:(402) 472-7767


Workshop Committee:

Leen-Kiat Soh (chair), University of Nebraska,

John E. Anderson (co-chair), University of Manitoba,

Costas Tsatsoulis, University of Kansas,

Julita Vassileva, University of Saskatchewan,

Babak Esfandiari, Carleton University,


Workshop URL