Building Brains for Rooms: Designing Distributed Software Agents

Michael H. Coen

This paper argues that complex, embedded software agent systems are best constructed with parallel, layered architectures. These systems resemble Minskyian Societies of Mind and Brooksian subsumption controllers for robots, and they demonstrate that complex behaviors can be had via the aggregates of relatively simple interacting agents. We illustrate this principle with a distributed software agent system that controls the behavior of our laboratory’s Intelligent Room.

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