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Stigmergy has been adopted in MAS (multi-agent systems) and in other fields as a technique for realising forms of emergent coordination in societies composed by a large amount of ant-like, nonrational agents. In this paper we discuss a conceptual (and engineering) framework for exploring the use of stigmergy in the context of societies composed by cognitive / rational agents, as a means for supporting high-level, knowledge-based social activities. multi-agent We refer to this kind of stigmergy as cognitive stigmergy. Cognitive stigmergy is based on the use of artifacts as tools populating and structuring the agent working environment, and which agents perceive, share and rationally use for their individual goals. Artifacts axe environment abstractions that mediate agent interaction and enable emergent coordination: as such, they can be used to encapsulate and enact the stigmergic mechanisms and the shared knowledge upon which emergent coordination processes axe based.In this paper, we start exploring this scenario introducing an agent-based framework for cognitive stigmergy based on artifacts. After discussing the main conceptual issues-the notion of cognitive stigmergy and the role of artifacts-, we sketch an abstract architecture for cognitive stigmergy, and outline its implementation upon the TuCSoN agent coordination infrastructure.


Ricci, Alessandro;  Omicini, Andrea;  Viroli, Mirko;  Gardelli, Luca;  Oliva, Enrico

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