Seminar - Selected Topics in Multi-Agent Reasoning Systems WS 2014/2015

Friday, Aug 1, 2014

In this seminar we will study several systems used for reasoning in multi-agent scenarios.

We plan to implement a peer review process for this seminar. That is, every student will read some other students’ term paper and provide feedback in form of a written review. This shall not only deepen your understanding of the other topics, but it also introduces you to the academic review process.

The Knowledge-Based Systems Group is, amongst others, doing research in task-level reasoning and agent controllers for mobile robots like in the RoboCup Logistics League (RCLL) as part of the Carologistics RoboCup Team.

Developing agents for such robotic tasks poses diverse problems to solve: acting rationally under hard real-time constraints, agent-to-agent communication, multi-robot cooperation, and task-level reasoning.

A possible scenario for the topics covered in the seminar are the RoboCup Logistics League (LLSF). In this scenario, two competing groups – each of up to three robots – must complete several production chains according to orders which are posted throughout the game period of 15 minutes. Other application scenarios for multi-agent reasoning are of course also possible.

The goal of this seminar is to study possibilities for high-level control programs (agent programs) that drive one group of agents like in the above production scenario. Systems to do that include OpenPRS, a Procedural Reasoning System. Other systems could be based on the Planning Domain Definition Language.


This is the preliminary list of topics and selected related papers.

  • Procedural Reasoning Systems
    • Ingrand, F.F.; Georgeff, M.P.; Rao, A.S (1992) “An architecture for real-time reasoning and system control”,
    • Georgeff, M.P.; Carlton, Vic.; Ingrand, F.F. (1990) “Real-time reasoning: the monitoring and control of spacecraft systems”.
  • Multi-Agent PDDL
    • Brenner, M. (2003) “A multiagent planning language”,
    • Kovacs, D. L. (2012) “A Multi-Agent Extension of PDDL3”.
  • Multi-Agent Simulation with SNet
    • Roesli, A; Schmitz, D.; Lakemeyer, G.; Jarke, M. (2009) “Modelling actor evolution in agent-based simulations”,
    • Gans, G.; Jarke, M.; Lakemeyer, G; Schmitz, D. (2005) “Deliberation in a metadata-based modeling and simulation environment for inter-organizational networks”.
  • Epistemic Multi-Agent Reasoning
    • Shapiro, S.; LespĂ©rance, Y.; Levesque, H. J. (2006) “Specifying communicative multi-agent systems”.
  • Distributed Multi-Agent Planning with CSPs
    • Brafman, R. I.; Domshlak, C. (2008) “From One to Many: Planning for Loosely Coupled Multi-Agent Systems”,
    • Nissim, R.; Brafman, R. I.; Domshlak, C. (2010) “A General, Fully Distributed Multi-Agent Planning Algorithm”.
  • Multi-Agent High-Level Programming
    • Kelly, R. F.; Pearce, A. R. (2006) “Towards high-level programming for distributed problem solving”,
    • Reiter, R. (1996) “Natural actions, concurrency and continuous time in the situation calculus”.
  • Normative Multi-Agent Systems
    • Dignum, F. (1999) “Autonomous agents with norms”,
    • Dastani, M.; Tinnemeier, N. A. M.; Meyer, J.-J. Ch. (2009) “A Programming Language for Normative Multi-Agent Systems”.


Slots are being centrally assigned. Registration is open from July 4th to 20th through the Central Seminar and Practical Project Seminar (Praktikum) Registration System.

An announcement of the course can be found in the course information system CAMPUS.

Additional information

Slides from the introductory meeting

  • Here the link to the slides.

Seminar Date

  • The seminar will be held as a block seminar on one day at the end or right after the lecture period. The dates and times will be announced in the introductory meeting.

Introductory Meeting

  • The date and time for the introductory meeting will be announced here. Participation is compulsory.

Seminar Procedure

  • Besides writing your own term paper, you are asked to review other students’ term papers. We will use a conference management system (e.g., EasyChair) for this procedure. It will involve strict deadlines. Meeting these deadlines is mandatory. At the end of the seminar each student needs to give a talk on his topic in front of the other students and members of our group. Attendance of these talks and participation in the discussions is mandatory.


  • You may use this LaTeX template for your term paper.

General Info

  • The introductory slides contain information about the schedule and requirements.

Library Tour

  • Renate Eschenbach from the Computer Science Library offers guided tours on how to find literature in the library and how to prepare a seminar. Interested students should enlist for a tour in the preliminary discussion.