A Formal Petri Net Based Model for Team Monitoring

A Formal Petri Net Based Model for Team Monitoring

Olivier Bonnet-Torrès (Beorn Technologies, France) and Catherine Tessier (Onera-DCSD, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-256-5.ch023
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This chapter focuses on a Petri Net-based model for team organization and monitoring. The applications considered are missions performed by several robots that cooperate in different ways according to the goals to be achieved. Formal operations on the Petri Net representing the mission plan allow the dynamic hierarchy of subteams to be revealed and the agents’ individual plans – including the relevant cooperation context – to be calculated. The model also allows several failure propagation ways within the team to be highlighted and local plan repair to be considered. Moreover Petri Nets allow direct implementation, and monitoring and control of the plan at each level of the organization: team, subteams, and individual robots.
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Teams of physical agents (robots, UAVs, embedded systems) are more and more considered for missions in dangerous, remote or heterogeneous environments (e.g. search and rescue operations in urban environments). Such teams are usually composed of two to about fifteen robots and may be organized as subteams (e.g. ground and air robots working in pairs) possibly merging or splitting according to the tasks to achieve (e.g. a rendez-vous of two pairs of robots for a four-robot task). A team has to be equipped with methods to reorganize subteams so as to adapt to changes within the team (e.g. robot failure) or within the environment, to new mission goals... Therefore the architecture for controlling such a team must satisfy the following requirements:

  • it must be suited to heterogeneous agents;

  • It must support the organization of the team as explicit dynamic subteams;

  • It must allow the physical agents to operate in real-time;

  • It must allow human operators to supervise the mission at any level: team level, subteam level, physical agent level1;

  • It must deal with disruptive events and implement a replanning function.

Each agent is equipped with sensors – in order to collect information as well as to detect events – and actuators – in order to perform actions. Events may be categorized as regular events, e.g. start and stop signals of activities and messages, known disruptive events, i.e. events that are likely to happen but whose occurrence time is unknown, and unexpected events. The problem addressed in this chapter is that of offering a complete, integrated framework for multi-robot missions. Such a framework should address mission preparation as well as execution monitoring and error recovery. Therefore the core issues we are dealing with are the following:

  • Monitor the team plan and events at any level within the team: team level, subteam level, physical agent level;

  • Handle disruptions at the most local level possible within the team in order to avoid their spreading over the whole team or avoid unnecessary replanning;

  • Limit consequences of unknown events to a local level.

Please see Chapter 9 for more discussion on a formal framework for modeling and analyzing organizations with constraints.

The chapter will focus on a formal Petri net based model that deals with these issues within an integrated framework. The concepts and mechanisms for representing the dynamics of the team organization will be presented. Then failure handling and local repair will be dealt with.

Multi-agent teams and Petri nets

We will consider that:

  • Some agents are coordinated if these agents interact and at least a part of the interaction is based on information passing;

  • Some agents collaborate if they are coordinated and if they have common goals;

  • A team is a set of agents that are put together as a necessary structure to pool skills and resources in order to satisfy the goals of a mission through collaboration.

Two classes of approaches for representing and organizing a set of agents may be distinguished:

  • Bottom-up approaches, that focus on coordination of individual agents;

  • Top-down approaches, that focus on collaboration within a team.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Liz Sonenberg
Virginia Dignum
Virginia Dignum
Chapter 1
Virgina Dignum
Agent Organization can be understood from two perspectives: organization as a process and organization as an entity. That is, organization is... Sample PDF
The Role of Organization in Agent Systems
Chapter 2
Luciano R. Coutinho, Jaime S. Sichman, Olivier Boissier
In this chapter, we discuss the concepts of agent organization, organizational model, and review some existing organizational models. Before the... Sample PDF
Modelling Dimensions for Agent Organizations
Chapter 3
Jacques Ferber, Tiberiu Stratulat, John Tranier
In this chapter, we stress the importance of thinking a MAS in all its aspects (agents, environment, interactions, organizations, and institutions)... Sample PDF
Towards an Integral Approach of Organizations in Multi-Agent Systems
Chapter 4
Scott A. DeLoach
This chapter introduces a suite of technologies for building complex, adaptive systems. It is based in the multi-agent systems paradigm and uses the... Sample PDF
OMACS: A Framework for Adaptive, Complex Systems
Chapter 5
Christopher Cheong, Michael Winikoff
Although intelligent agents individually exhibit a number of characteristics, including social ability, flexibility, and robustness, which make them... Sample PDF
Hermes: Designing Flexible and Robust Agent Interactions
Chapter 6
Viara Popova, Alexei Sharpanskykh
This chapter introduces a formal framework for modeling and analysis of organizations. It allows representing and reasoning about all important... Sample PDF
A Formal Framework for Organization Modeling and Analysis
Chapter 7
Maksim Tsvetovat
Agent-based approaches provide an invaluable tool for building decentralized, distributed architectures and tying together sets of disparate... Sample PDF
Describing Agent Societies: A Declarative Semantics
Chapter 8
Davide Grossi, Frank Dignum
In this chapter we investigate how organizations can be represented as graphs endowed with formal semantics. We distinguish different dimensions of... Sample PDF
Structural Aspects of Organizations
Chapter 9
Virgina Dignum, Frank Dignum
Organization concepts and models are increasingly being adopted for the design and specification of multi-agent systems. Agent organizations can be... Sample PDF
A Logic for Agent Organizations
Chapter 10
Cristiano Castelfranchi
This chapter presents organizations as a macro-micro notion and device; they presuppose autonomous proactive entities (agents) playing the... Sample PDF
Grounding Organizations in the Minds of the Agents
Chapter 11
Paolo Torroni, Pinar Yolum, Munindar P. Singh, Marco Alberti, Federico Chesani, Marco Gavanelli, Evelina Lamma, Paola Mello
Organizational models often rely on two assumptions: openness and heterogeneity. This is, for instance, the case with organizations consisting of... Sample PDF
Modelling Interactions via Commitments and Expectations
Chapter 12
Gita Sukthankar, Katia Sycara, Joseph A. Giampapa, Christopher Burnett
This chapter discusses the problem of agent aiding of ad-hoc, decentralized human teams so as to improve team performance on time-stressed group... Sample PDF
Communications for Agent-Based Human Team Support
Chapter 13
Bob van der Vecht, Frank Dignum, John-Jules Ch. Meyer
This chapter discusses how autonomous agents can adopt organizational rules into their reasoning process. Agents in an organization need to... Sample PDF
Autonomous Agents Adopting Organizational Rules
Chapter 14
Nicoletta Fornara, Marco Colombetti
The specification of open interaction systems is widely recognized to be a crucial issue, which involves the problem of finding a standard way of... Sample PDF
Specifying Artificial Institutions in the Event Calculus
Chapter 15
Francesco Viganò, Marco Colombetti
Institutions have been proposed to explicitly represent norms in open multi-agent systems, where agents may not follow them and which therefore... Sample PDF
Verifying Organizations Regulated by Institutions
Chapter 16
Mehdi Dastani, Nick A.M. Tinnemeier, John-Jules Ch. Meyer
Multi-agent systems are viewed as consisting of individual agents whose behaviors are regulated by an organizational artifact. This chapter presents... Sample PDF
A Programming Language for Normative Multi-Agent Systems
Chapter 17
Antônio Carlos da Rocha Costa, Graçaliz Pereira Dimuro
This chapter presents the Population-Organization model, a formal tool for studying the organization of open multi-agent systems and its functional... Sample PDF
A Minimal Dynamical MAS Organization Model
Chapter 18
Shaheen Fatima, Michael Wooldridge
This chapter presents an adaptive organizational policy for multi-agent systems called TRACE. TRACE allows a collection of multi-agent organizations... Sample PDF
A Framework for Dynamic Agent Organizations
Chapter 19
Alexander Artikis, Dimosthenis Kaponis, Jeremy Pitt
We have been developing a framework for executable specification of norm-governed multi-agent systems. In this framework, specification is a... Sample PDF
Dynamic Specifications for Norm-Governed Systems
Chapter 20
Marco Lamieri, Diana Mangalagiu
In this chapter we present a model of organization aimed to understand the effect of formal and informal structures on the organization’s... Sample PDF
Interactions Between Formal and Informal Organizational Networks
Chapter 21
Steven Okamoto, Katia Sycara, Paul Scerri
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Personal Assistants for Human Organizations
Chapter 22
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This chapter presents an approach to organizational-self design (OSD), a method of designing organizations at run-time in which the agents are... Sample PDF
Organizational Self-Design in Worth-Oriented Domains
Chapter 23
Olivier Bonnet-Torrès, Catherine Tessier
This chapter focuses on a Petri Net-based model for team organization and monitoring. The applications considered are missions performed by several... Sample PDF
A Formal Petri Net Based Model for Team Monitoring
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