|Agent architectures project||20%||15%|
|Multi-agent survey paper||20%||20%|
|MAS game tournament
|Problem sets (2)||--||10%|
Class participation (35/30% total). This class is a seminar, designed not only to teach the students about agent architectures and multi-agent systems, but to hone your skills in reading and evaluating technical papers, discussing and comparing different approaches, and applying these methods in practice. This course format demands that all students participate actively in class discussions (30/25%). (Students who are not comfortable speaking up in a class, and who do not wish to improve their skills in "public" speaking, should probably not take this class!) Students are expected to read the assigned papers or chapters prior to each class. Students are expected to attend every class; if absence is unavoidable, you should notify the instructor of your absence in advance. Although I will make every effort to post assignments and updates on the course website, you are responsible for what was covered in class, whether you are there or not.
Most classes will be primarily discussion sessions. For these classes, there will be an assigned discussion leader (5%). The discussion leader is expected to prepare discussion questions in advance of the class, give a brief (5- to 10-minute) summary of the key points of the assigned reading, and then lead the discussion, guided by the discussion questions. Your grade as discussion leader will be based primarily on the quality of your questions and on your summary presentation.
Paper summaries / questions (5%). Each student will be required to submit short paper summaries and discussion questions of the assigned readings throughout the semester. Specific requirements for each class meeting will be given during the previous class.
Agent architectures project (20%/15%). For the Agent Architectures part of the class, each student will be required to download the public-domain version of one of the implemented architectures we will study, identify additional reading beyond the assigned papers on that architecture, apply the software to a new application domain, demonstrate the application, and write a report about their project. Students may work individually or in teams of two or three on these projects. (Students and/or teams working on the same architecture are encouraged to share the work of downloading and finding papers on the architecture, even if they do separate projects.) A project proposal (5% of project grade), draft project report (5%), project report (65%), and a demonstration (25%) are required. Students enrolled in 677 are expected to submit an in-depth analysis of the project, including relating their findings to the research literature.
MAS survey paper (20%). In the Multi-Agent Systems part of the class, students will write a survey paper on a topic of their choice in multi-agent systems. A proposal and bibliography (10% of project grade), draft report (10%), and final report (80%) will be required. Students enrolled in 477 may focus on one or two recent research papers. Students in 677 should include a bibliography of 5-10 (or more) additional papers, an in-depth discussion of the related work in the field, and a discussion of open problems.
MAS paper presentation (5%). Students will read and present one recent research paper. (For most students, this will be a paper from your MAS survey paper.) Students in 677 must also identify and summarize 3--5 related research papers, and discuss the relationships between their chosen paper and the other work in the field.
Paper review (5%). Each student will be randomly assigned another student's draft MAS project report to review and comment on. This will give you an opportunity to learn more about that student's topic, and also a chance to gain hands-on experience with the reviewing process for technical papers. We will discuss the criteria for a "high-quality" review prior to this exercise. The review will be due one week after the draft reports are submitted.
MAS game tournament (10%). Towards the end of the semester, a multi-agent
systems tournament will be scheduled, centered on a game such as the iterated
Prisoner's Dilemma or the Trading Agent Competition. Each student
will be required to implement a player for the tournament, and submit a
short report on their design and their agent's performance.
Problem sets (10% for 677). Students enrolled in CMSC 677 will be required to complete two additional problem sets.
Late policy. Late assignments will only be accepted if an extension is requested and granted in advance.
All students must read, understand, and follow the CMSC 477/677 course policy on academic honesty and grading. Each student will be asked to sign a copy of the academic honesty/grading policy, indicating that they have read and understood it.
Cheating in any form will not be tolerated. In particular, all assignments are to be your own work. You may discuss the assignments with anyone. However, any help you receive must be documented explicitly.
Written answers on class reports must be your own work. If you wish to quote a source, you must do so explicitly, using quotation marks and proper citation at the point of the quote. Plagiarism (copying) of any source, including another student's work, is not acceptable and will result in at a minimum a zero grade for the entire assignment. A useful guideline is that if more than two or three words in a row are the same in your report as in the original source, you have plagiarized. (Even in your reading journals, you should indicate which notes are direct quotes and which are your own words; this is a good habit to get into, so that if you ever write a passage based on your notes, you don't unintentionally plagiarize the original source.) http://www.lib.duke.edu/libguide/bib_journals.htm gives an excellent overview of how to correctly cite a source. http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/plagiarism.shtml has guidelines on acceptable paraphrasing. (See also the other documents at http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets.shtml for useful suggestions on writing and citing sources.)
General questions (i.e., anything that another student may also be wondering
about) should be sent to the list, so that everyone will be able to benefit
from the answers. Students are welcome to post answers to questions, even
if the questions were directed at the course staff. Individual concerns,
questions about grades, and the like should be sent to Prof. desJardins rather
than the list.