Design and implementation of a multi-agent systems laboratory
Jones, Malachi Gabriel
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This thesis presents the design, development, and testing of a multi-agent systems laboratory that will enable the experimental investigation of Networked Control Systems. Networked Control Systems (NCS) are integrations of computation, networking, and physical dynamics, in which embedded devices are networked to sense, monitor, execute collaborative tasks, and interact with the physical world. As the potential for applications of NCS has increased, so has the research interest in this area. Possible applications include search and rescue, scientific data collection, and health care monitoring systems. One of the primary challenges in applying NCS is designing distributed algorithms that will enable the networked devices to achieve global objectives. Another challenge is in ensuring that distributed algorithms have the necessary robustness to achieve those global objectives in dynamic and unpredictable environments. A multi-agent systems laboratory provides the researcher with a means to observe the behavior and performance of distributed algorithms as they are executed on a set of networked devices. Through this observation, the researcher may discover robustness issues that were not present in computer simulation. The objective of this research is to design and implement the infrastructure for a multi-agent systems laboratory to observe distributed algorithms implemented on networked devices.