At first glance, this book, which contains the proceedings of the DAMAS 2005 workshop, seems to be very specialized and application oriented. However, in reading the papers, one can find a few that contribute to multiagent systems theory and to practices beyond the application intended. The paper “Cognitive agents for sense and respond logistics” is a good example.
The book is divided into three parts. Each part has a specific theme. The first part, comprised of four papers, focuses on decision support and simulation. Two of the papers deal with distributed decision making in military applications using agents. The first applies negotiation to situation awareness, and the second applies distributed control to a military radio network. People working with cognitive agents, like me, will find the fourth paper of interest: “Representing dispositions and emotions in simulated combat.” The authors base their work on the belief-desire-intention (BDI) model. They enhance this with emotional modeling and other models for the application purpose.
The second part addresses the area of unmanned aerial vehicles. Using multiagent systems in the control architecture of mobile robots is a new paradigm, so it is not a surprise that there are only two papers in this section. Both papers, however, focus more on data fusion than on control and behavior. The second paper, “A multi-agent UAV swarm for automatic target recognition,” will be of interest to many researchers working on swarm robots and biologically inspired robots for a variety of applications.
The third part has three papers on systems and security. Only the first paper addresses security explicitly through verification tools. The other two papers have more to do with system building, especially the third paper, which focuses on middleware. The book ends with an invited paper on the challenges to distributed military applications and systems. This is a very interesting collection of papers for anyone working on multiagent systems and their applications to real-time applications.