Thursday, March 17, 2005

Software agents and Smart Grid Technologies

A workshop which combines software agents and grid computing entitled "Smart Grid Technologies" with he held at the 2005 Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems(AAMAS 2005). The announcement states:

Grid Computing is a novel and active research domain for complex, dynamic, distributed, and flexible resource sharing. Recent research on Grid has largely focused on issues of performance, scalability, and standardization. Yet, little has been done on aspects of intelligence and adaptability. Agent and multi-agent technologies provide a promising approach to make Grid technologies and solutions based on Grid technologies smarter, more flexible, and adaptable.

The kind of questions which arise in this research area are twofold: On the one hand, technical questions concerning the Grid have to be solved, including advanced Grid architectures, semantically enhanced service descriptions, and the specification of resources. On the other hand issues related to autonomy, collaboration, and economic models need to be tackled. Key issues here are market-based allocation and scheduling of resources, pricing, payment, automated negotiation, market mechanisms, self-organization and learning, engineering of Grid marketplaces and many others.

The workshop focuses attention of the following topics:

  • Modeling of Grid environments
  • Agent-based mechanisms for Grid markets
  • Resource allocation in Grid scenarios using agent-based approaches
  • Automated negotiation for Grid resource allocation
  • Agent-based simulation of Grid environments and markets
  • Agent-based Computational Economics for Grid
  • Engineering of Grid markets and Grid architectures
  • Technical research on future application domains

My personal thinking is that this overall topic is really two distinct sub-topics:

  1. How to apply software agent technology towards making grid computing a more usable platform for distributed applications. I would call this "application of software agent technology for enhanced grid operations."
  2. How to make grid computing environments better places for the deployment of software agent-based applications and multi-agent systems. I would call this "grid support for software agent applications".
The workshop announcement seems focused on the former, but I think the latter will be inevitable. Either way, the whole topic is quite interesting and quite topical.

Jack Krupansky


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