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Escaping local optima in multi-agent oriented constraint satisfaction.

Basharu, Muhammed; Ahriz, Hatem; Arana, Inés


Muhammed Basharu

Hatem Ahriz

Inés Arana


Frans Coenen

Alun Preece

Ann Macintosh


We present a multi-agent approach to constraint satisfaction where feedback and reinforcement are used in order to avoid local optima and, consequently, to improve the overall solution. Our approach, FeReRA, is based on the fact that an agents local best performance does not necessarily contribute to the systems best performance. Thus, agents may be rewarded for improving the systems performance and penalised for not contributing towards a better solution. Hence, agents may be forced to choose sub-optimal moves when they reach a specified penalty threshold as a consequence of their lack of contribution towards a better overall solution. This may allow other agents to choose better moves and, therefore, to improve the overall performance of the system. FeReRA is tested against its predecessor, ERA, and a comparative evaluation of both approaches is presented.

Start Date Dec 15, 2003
Publication Date Dec 31, 2004
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Pages 97-110
ISBN 9781852337803
Institution Citation BASHARU, M., AHRIZ, H. and ARANA, I. 2004. Escaping local optima in multi-agent oriented constraint satisfaction. In Coenen, F., Preece, A. and Macintosh, A. (eds.) Research and development in intelligent systems XX: technical proceedings of the 23rd Annual international conference of the British Computer Society's Specialist Group on Artificial Intelligence (SGAI) (AI-2003), 15-17 December 2003, Cambridge, UK. London: Springer [online], pages 97-110. Available from:


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