Coordinating Autonomous Agents For Force Protection Using Contract Nets
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The survivability of a naval surface combatant depends largely on the effective management of combat resources. In terms of platform-centric self-protection, situation assessment strategies and engagement policies governing weapon usage influence effective management. Situation assessment strategies enable the surface combatant to adapt to changes in the battlespace. In the case of network-centric operations, the task force’s ability to adapt to changes in the battlespace relies on the information superiority gained through shared awareness. Although shared awareness enables surface combatants to apply situation assessment strategies to self-synchronize to the situation, engagement policies governing weapons usage typically remain platform-centric and rely on centralized command structures to provide overall coordination. The research presented, herein, examines the implementation of intelligent agents to create a partially centralized, distributed command structure that uses Contract Nets to coordinate tactical responses across the task force.