Hasso-Plattner-InstitutSDG am HPI
Hasso-Plattner-InstitutDSG am HPI

Multi-Agent Systems (Wintersemester 2020/2021)

Dozent: Prof. Dr. Holger Giese (Systemanalyse und Modellierung) , Sona Ghahremani (Systemanalyse und Modellierung) , Christian Zöllner (Systemanalyse und Modellierung) , He Xu (Systemanalyse und Modellierung)

Allgemeine Information

  • Semesterwochenstunden: 2
  • ECTS: 3
  • Benotet: Ja
  • Einschreibefrist:
  • Lehrform: Seminar
  • Belegungsart: Pflichtmodul
  • Lehrsprache: Englisch

Studiengänge, Modulgruppen & Module

IT-Systems Engineering MA
  • OSIS: Operating Systems & Information Systems Technology
    • HPI-OSIS-K Konzepte und Methoden
  • OSIS: Operating Systems & Information Systems Technology
    • HPI-OSIS-T Techniken und Werkzeuge
  • OSIS: Operating Systems & Information Systems Technology
    • HPI-OSIS-S Spezialisierung
  • SAMT: Software Architecture & Modeling Technology
    • HPI-SAMT-K Konzepte und Methoden
  • SAMT: Software Architecture & Modeling Technology
    • HPI-SAMT-T Techniken und Werkzeuge
  • SAMT: Software Architecture & Modeling Technology
    • HPI-SAMT-S Spezialisierung
  • IT-Systems Engineering
    • HPI-ITSE-A Analyse
  • IT-Systems Engineering
    • HPI-ITSE-E Entwurf


The quest to handle complex software engineering tasks has led to the development of a number of paradigms to decompose the software development into meaningful units. Instances of such paradigms are structured design, modular design, object-oriented design, component-based design, or service-oriented design. However, all these paradigms assume that the cooperation between the units resulting from the decomposition and respectively the cooperation between the composed units conforms to a command or delegation style where one unit explicitly requests something from another unit. A delegation leads to a step by step reduction of the complexity of the requested tasks. The units are only designed to fulfil commands or requests of rather limited scope that fit to their specific responsibility and do not demonstrate any intelligent behavior. 

In contrast, in case of multi-agent systems, the free cooperation of intelligent units (agents) is considered where the agents can demonstrate a level of intelligence and go beyond only reacting to requests from other agents, and also act proactively to achieve their own goals. Therefore, the multi-agent paradigm supports that complex systems can be engineered by decomposing complex systems into multiple intelligent agents. Systems with more complexity can also be obtained by composing multiple intelligent agents. The constituting intelligent agents can obtain intelligent behavior usually by means of AI technologies such as machine learning. Therefore, when not only the design of a single separate intelligent behavior but the complex interplay of multiple intelligent units is envisioned, multi-agent systems are the appropriate paradigm and thus are expected to play an important role in the engineering of complex software systems of the future.




To be added soon.

Lern- und Lehrformen

There will be a mandatory introductory meeting, where basic concepts of multi-agent systems and the specific seminar topics are introduced. Students are then required to choose a topic, which they will work on during the semester individually or in teams of up to 2 students, though teamwork is encouraged. A specific assignment and corresponding materials will be provided.

The students are expected to submit a report of approx. 15 pages per student in the team with their respective assignments and present their findings in a final seminar meeting.

Throughout the seminar, a teaching assistant will offer support and supervision for each participant or team. Further meetings with all course participants may be arranged upon request, in order to answer questions of general interest and to support the exchange between teams.

Announcement regarding the coronavirus regulations:

Because of the Coronavirus situation and corresponding restrictions outbreak, we will organize all meetings as online meetings by default. This especially applies to the introductory meeting. If all participants agree to and the current restrictions as well as seminar room availability allow it, further meetings may also take place at HPI.


We will grade the student reports (50%) and presentations (50%). Participation in the final meeting during other students' presentations in the form of questions and feedback is also mandatory.


Besides the introductory meeting and individual feedback meetings with the teaching assistants, there will be no regular meetings during the semester. Presentations will be given in one session (date to be determined) near to the end of or after the lecture period of the semester.

The introductory meeting will be held online on Tuesday 10.11. at 9:15. If you are interested in the seminar but cannot attend the introduction meeting, please contact us. We will find an individual solution for you.


Please send  an email to Christian Zöllner until Monday 09.11. if you are interested in the course. We will make sure that you receive the invite link for the introductory meeting.

Please note that you do not have to enroll for this course at the studienreferat. After the introductory meeting, we will report any participants that decide to actually take the course to the Studienreferat. 

If you have any further questions, please also send an email to Christian Zöllner.