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Message Targeting and Distinguishing

Since there is a single communication channel, agent tex2html_wrap_inline1384 hears messages sent by all agents whether or not they are intended for it. Messages sent by agents from another team are completely ignored. Messages sent by a teammate are identified by the <team-identifier> field. Since all team members know the locker-room agreement, agents monitor all messages from teammates to determine their teammates' internal states, even if the content of the message is intended for another teammate.

Agents can distinguish messages that are intended for them by checking the <team-identifier> and <target> fields. An agent tex2html_wrap_inline1398 pays attention to a message from a member of the same team that is targeted to tex2html_wrap_inline1400 , to the entire team, or to some subset of the team that includes tex2html_wrap_inline1402 . The <target> field could identify an individual agent either by its unique ID number or by the role that it is currently playing. Thus, a message could be sent to the agent playing a particular role without knowing which agent that is. Similarly, a message could be targeted towards all agents in a unit of the team's current formation.

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