The Contract Net protocol is a general-purpose protocol for distributed problem solving. Many modern agent infrastructures facilitate the generation of agents supporting Contract Net. We used one such infrastructure to simulate a Contract Net-based approach to job scheduling and found that some jobs failed to get scheduled even though the resources were available. This paper describes two phases of the subsequent debugging effort. The first phase was enhancing the visualization of the agent community to reveal the causes of failed negotiations. The second phase was formalizing the problem using a Temporal Calculus of Communicating Systems (TCCS) and attempting to find a solution. After exploring a number of solutions that would not generalize, we found that switching from one-phase to two-phase commitment sufficed to fix the problem.
Proceedings of the 6th ACM Symposium on Applied Computing
Debugging Agent Interactions: A Case Study, Proceedings of the 6th ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=821126
(Accessed November 28, 2023)