Aims and Scope
This competition is an attempt to stimulate research in the area of multi-agent system development and programming by
- identifying key problems,
- collecting suitable benchmarks, and
- gathering test cases which require and enforce coordinated action
that can serve as milestones for testing multi-agent programming languages, platforms and tools. We also expect that participating at the contest helps to debug existing systems and to identify their weak and strong aspects.
The performance of a particular system will be determined in a series of games where the systems compete against each other. While winning the competition is not the main point, we hope it will shed light on the applicability of certain frameworks to particular domains.
The Multi-Agent Programming Contest was initiated in 2005 by Mehdi Dastani (Utrecht University) and Jürgen Dix (Clausthal University of Technology) as co-organizers by request from the CLIMA community. Already heavily engaged in 2005, Peter Novák (Delft University of Technology) joined as co-organizer in 2006.
Since then the participating teams and their strategies were published within the CLIMA or ProMAS proceedings. In recent years, we also published special journal issues for a more detailed description of the results of the contest.
Agents on Mars
In the year 2033 mankind finally populates Mars. While in the beginning the settlers received food and water from transport ships sent from earth shortly afterwards - because of the outer space pirates - sending these ships became too dangerous and expensive. Also, there were rumors going around that somebody actually found water on Mars below the surface. Soon the settlers started to develop autonomous intelligent agents, so-called All Terrain Planetary Vehicles (ATPV), to search for water wells. The World Emperor - enervated by the pirates - decided to strengthen the search for water wells by paying money for certain achievements. Sadly, this resulted in sabotage among the different groups of settlers.
Now, the task of your agents is to find the best water wells and occupy the best zones of Mars. Sometimes they have to sabotage their rivals to achieve their goal (while the opponents will most probably do the same) or to defend themselves. Of course the agents' vehicle pool contains specific vehicles, some of them have special sensors, some of them are faster and some of them have sabotage devices on board. Last but not least, your team also contains special experts, the repair agents, that are capable of fixing agents that are disabled. In general, each agent has a special expert knowledge and is thus the only one being able to perform a certain action. So your agents have to find ways to cooperate and coordinate themselves.
In this year's contest your agents have to prove themselves on planet Mars. The environment is represented by a graph. Vertices denote water wells of different value and possible locations for the agents. The weights of the edges denote the costs of traversing the edge. Your agents have to conquer zones. A zone is a subgraph that is colored in your team's color. Once you place your agents at strategic positions they color the nodes they are standing on and neighboring nodes. If you occupy such a zone you get as many points as your zone is worth. The goal of the game is to maximize your score, while your opposing team is highly probable to do the same. The map is unknown in the beginning. Explore the area first before conquering zones. And make sure that you properly defend your zones against your enemies.
Your team will play against all others. Each match has several rounds. The team that wins most rounds wins the overall tournament. You can connect your agents via internet to our servers and watch the simulations online and in real-time.
Getting Started with the 2013 version
You want to get a deeper look, just follow the five minutes tutorial!