Multi-agent systems: A software architecture viewpoint

Onn Shehory, Arnon Sturm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Studies in agent-oriented software engineering address the merit of agents and multi-agent systems as a software architecture style, though only in part. MAS software architecture styles are of interest to both the MAS and the software engineering communities. This chapter provides an introduction to these software architectures. As we demonstrate, MAS implementations spanning across decades have several common architectural characteristics, despite different design and implementation details. An important question associated with MAS development is whether MAS constitute an appropriate solution for a computational problem at hand, and if so, what type of MAS should be preferred for that solution? Preferably, this question better be answered early on, to prevent the use of MAS as a solution approach where simpler, more efficient solutions apply. MAS should be considered among an array of alternative solution approaches. To assist system designers in their assessment of MAS as a solution approach to their problem, we present architectural properties of MAS and we demonstrate these properties by example.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAgent-Oriented Software Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationReflections on Architectures, Methodologies, Languages, and Frameworks
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783642544323
ISBN (Print)3642544312, 9783642544316
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. All rights are reserved.


  • Agent-oriented software engineering
  • Architectural styles
  • MAS design
  • Software architecture


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