The 2020 Contest

The Scenario: Agents Assemble II

Agents with limited local vision have to organize to assemble and deliver complex structures made of blocks, in a grid world.

The scenario is a revision of the previous edition. Replays are available.

Agents Assemble

Provisional timeline

What When
First software package and specifications available Complete
Programming and testing by the participants April - July
Registration Deadline 10th August
Start of qualification 24th August
Contest September/October 2020

The platform

The MASSim server is available on GitHub.

The package contains some dummy agents. You can use them as a starting point or implement the communication protocol yourself.

Prize

The winner of the contest will be awarded a voucher for 500 EUR worth in books, thankfully provided by Springer Verlag. Requirements are the submission of a team description paper and the source code of the agents.

Mailing List

Participants and all interested colleagues are invited to subscribe to our mailing list:

agentcontest@googlegroups.com

All the important details and announcements including scenario and communication protocol specifications as well as software release announcements and bug reports will be shared on this list.

The mailing list archive is publically available.

Publications

After the tournament we invite every participant to submit a paper about their team. Once the quality of the papers has been assured they will be regularly published (as the previous editions) in Springer’s LNCS Challenges subline.

Authors should consult Springer’s authors’ guidelines and use their proceedings templates, either for LaTeX or for Word, for the preparation of their papers. Springer encourages authors to include their ORCIDs in their papers. In addition, the corresponding author of each paper, acting on behalf of all of the authors of that paper, must complete and sign a Consent-to-Publish form. The corresponding author signing the copyright form should match the corresponding author marked on the paper. Once the files have been sent to Springer, changes relating to the authorship of the papers cannot be made.

  • Tentative submission deadline: 7 December 2020
  • Submission system: Springer OCS

General Advice

We have collected some tips and tricks for participating in the contest. If you have participated before, please send us your additions.

  • Make sure your agents can handle transitions between simulations.
  • During the contest, only the status monitor will be active. Maybe enable your agents to tell you what’s going on.
  • Often, we see agents reconnecting to the server during a simulation. Maybe try to ensure that:
    • your agents do not lose valuable information if they need to be restarted; and
    • they can handle different initial states (e.g., agent is carrying a block).
  • Test your agents against other agents (e.g. a second instance of your team).
  • Test your agents with different scenario parameters.
  • Use the skip() action for each agent who needs to wait a step in order to speed up the simulation.

For the current scenario:

  • If an agent is somehow attached to another, it moves together with the other agent. These agents can coordinate their movements to move twice as fast! (One move-action per agent and step.)
  • Your agents can start or end up surrounded by obstacles. Make sure they know how to “dig” themselves out.
  • Clear actions could also be used to scare away opponent agents.