Introduction to This Special Issue

AI Magazine 

Developing agents that could perceive the world, reason about what they perceive in relation to their own goals and acts, has been the Holy Grail of AI. Early attempts at such holistic intelligence (for example, SRI International's AI researchers turned their attention to component technologies for structuring a single agent, such as planning, knowledge representation, diagnosis, and learning. Although most of AI research was focused on single-agent issues, a small number of AI researchers gathered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Endicott House in 1980 for the First Workshop on Distributed AI. The main scientific goal of distributed AI (DAI) is to understand the principles underlying the behavior of multiple entities in the world, called agents and their interactions. The discipline is concerned with how agent interactions produce overall multiagent system (MAS) behavior.