An improvement to matchmaking algorithms for middle agents

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the International Conference on Autonomous Agents, 2002, (3), pp. 1340 - 1347
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A question frequently asked in multi-agent systems (MASs) concerns the efficient search for suitable agents to solve a specific problem. To answer this question, different types of middle agents are usually employed. The performance of middle agents relies heavily on the matchmaking algorithms used. Matchmaking is the process of finding an appropriate provider for a requester through a middle agent. There has been substantial work on matchmaking in different kinds of middle agents. To our knowledge, almost all currently used matchmaking algorithms missed one point when doing matchmaking - the matchmaking is only based on the advertised capabilities of provider agents. The actual performance of provider agents in accomplishing delegated tasks is not considered at all. This results in the inaccuracy of the matchmaking outcomes as well as the random selection of provider agents with the same advertised capabilities. The quality of service of different service provider agents varies from one agent to another even though they claimed they have the same capabilities. To this end, it is argued that the practical performance of service provider agents has a significant impact on the matchmaking outcomes of middle agents. An improvement to matchmaking algorithms is proposed, which makes the algorithms have the ability to consider the track records of agents in accomplishing delegated tasks. How to represent, accumulate, and use track records as well as how to give initial values for track records in the algorithm are discussed. A prototype is also built to verify the algorithm. Based on the improved algorithm, the matchmaking outcomes are more accurate and reasonable.
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