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Robustness to Lost Messages

In order to meet the challenge raised by unreliable communication leading to lost messages, agents must not depend on communication to act. Communication is structured so that it helps agents update their world and internal states. But agents do not stop acting while waiting for communications from teammates. As brought up in [38], such a case could cause infinite looping if a critical teammate fails to respond for any reason. As well as continuing to act while waiting for communicate-delay to expire, agents ensure that they do not rely on inter-agent communication by continuing to act while waiting for responses from teammates. They also maintain world and internal states without help from teammates. Communication can improve the reliability of an agent's world state by elucidating some of an agent's hidden state; but communication is not necessary for an agent to maintain a reasonable approximation of the world state.

Peter Stone
Thu Dec 17 15:26:44 EST 1998