Hybrid Multiagent Systems with Timed Synchronization - Specification and Model Checking

Abstract

This paper shows how multiagent systems can be modeled by a combination of UML statecharts and hybrid automata. This allows formal system specification on different levels of abstraction on the one hand, and expressing real-time system behavior with continuous variables on the other hand. It is not only shown how multi-robot systems can be modeled by a combination of hybrid automata and hierarchical state machines, but also how model checking techniques for hybrid automata can be applied. An enhanced synchronization concept is introduced that allows synchronization taking time and avoids state explosion to a certain extent. 1 Multiagent Systems Specifying behaviors for (physical) multiagent systems and multi-robot systems is a sophisticated and demanding task. Due to the high complexity of the interactions among agents and the dynamics of the environment the need for precise modeling arises. Since the behavior of agents usually can be understood as driven by external events and internal states, an obvious way of modeling multiagent systems is by state transition diagrams. Hierarchical state transition diagrams like statecharts are particularly well suited as they allow the specification of behaviors on different levels of abstraction [6]. They can directly be used as executable specifications for programming multiagent systems [1]. One important aspect of physical agents and robots is that they interact with a (possibly simulated) physical environment. Such interactions typically consist of continuous actions (e.g. the movement of a robot) and perceptions like the power status of a battery. Classical state transition diagrams are not well suited for modeling this kind of interactions, as the transitions between states are discrete. However, continuous extensions to these formalisms have been proposed, e.g. hybrid automata [4]. Especially for agents employed in safety critical environments, e.g. in rescue scenarios, behavior specification has to be done very carefully in order to avoid side effects that may result in unwanted behaviors or even have disastrous consequences. One approach to realizing the required clarity of a specification is the use of formal design methods. Fortunately many state transition diagram dialects like hybrid automata are

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-79043-3_13

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Furbach2007HybridMS, title={Hybrid Multiagent Systems with Timed Synchronization - Specification and Model Checking}, author={Ulrich Furbach and Jan Murray and Falk Schmidsberger and Frieder Stolzenburg}, booktitle={PROMAS}, year={2007} }