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Self-Adaptation-Based Dynamic Coalition Formation in a Distributed Agent Network: A Mechanism and a Brief Survey

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3 Author(s)
Dayong Ye ; Sch. of Comput. Sci. & Software Eng., Univ. of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia ; Minjie Zhang ; Sutanto, D.

In some real systems, e.g., distributed sensor networks, individual agents often need to form coalitions to accomplish complex tasks. Due to communication and computation constraints, it is infeasible for agents to directly interact with all other agents to form coalitions. Most previous coalition formation studies, however, overlooked this aspect. Those studies did not provide an explicitly modeled agent network or assumed that agents were in a fully connected network, where an agent can directly communicate with all other agents. Thus, to alleviate this problem, it is necessary to provide a neighborhood network structure, within which agents can directly interact only with their neighbors. Toward this end, in this paper, a self-adaptation-based dynamic coalition formation mechanism is proposed. The proposed mechanism operates in a neighborhood agent network. Based on self-adaptation principles, this mechanism enables agents to dynamically adjust their degrees of involvement in multiple coalitions and to join new coalitions at any time. The self-adaptation process, i.e., agents adjusting their degrees of involvement in multiple coalitions, is realized by exploiting a negotiation protocol. The proposed mechanism is evaluated through a comparison with a centralized mechanism (CM) and three other coalition formation mechanisms. Experimental results demonstrate the good performance of the proposed mechanism in terms of the entire network profit and time consumption. Additionally, a brief survey of current coalition formation research is also provided. From this survey, readers can have a general understanding of the focuses and progress of current research. This survey provides a classification of the primary emphasis of each related work in coalition formation, so readers can conveniently find the most related studies.

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Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 5 )