MODULE TITLE Multi-Agent Systems & E Commerce
Module Code 12-6210-00L
Credit Points 20
Indicative Assessment Coursework (50%)
Components & Examination (50%)
Delivered according to Long: Short: Other delivery
Standard Academic 2 semesters 1 semester pattern:
YES YES NO
1 MODULE AIMS
This module build on existing knowledge of internet technologies, object and agent
architectures and principles of electronic commerce to develop an understanding of
the fundamental principals of multi-agent architectures. After reviewing the
principles underlying multi-agent systems, their applicability in real-world situations
will be considered, with a particular emphasis on their use in negotiation and
The structure of agent communication will be considered with a particular emphasis
on the FIPA (Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents) standards to show how
agents built on different platforms can work effectively to form a single multi-agent
community to solve complex problems. There will be an opportunity to build and use
agents using state-of-the art agent development tools.
2 MODULE LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of the module you will be able to
1 Review the conceptual basis of distributed multi-agent systems as used to solve
problems in the E-commerce domain.
2 Understand the interaction of agents with existing and future non-agent
3 Evaluate alternative strategies in providing E-commerce services using multi-
4 Propose ways of using Multi-Agent principles to solve a range of E-commerce
3 INDICATIVE LEARNING, TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT ACTIVITIES
1 Lectures to introduce key concepts in multi-agent systems, supported by tutorial
papers to consolidate the key issues introduced in lectures.
2 Laboratory sessions in which they will work in groups to gain practical
experience of the interaction of agents within multi-agent systems operating in
the e-commerce domain.
4 INDICATIVE MODULE CONTENTS / TOPICS
Principles of Multi-agent systems
o What is a multi-agent system
o How do they differ from conventional object-oriented systems,
database systems, internet trading systems etc.
o Review of different multi-agent system architectures
o Principles of Communication including Speech Acts
o Formation an use of performatives to form conversation classes
Building Agent Communities
o Developing a common understanding and the use of ontologies
o Services required to support the agent community including facilitation,
naming and mediation services
o Architectural support for electronic marketplaces
o Requirements for negotiation and trading
Review some example multi-agent systems and see how the principles
discussed in this module have been applied.
FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THIS MODULE
Further / additional information is available to support this module, including
assessment criteria detailing how your performance in the module will be
measured, how you will receive feedback, details of learning resources, and key
This information can be found in the course handbook, the module's blackboard
site and assessment briefs.
Note that this additional information may be subject to change from year to year.