TCS / Studies / T-79.230 Foundations of Agent-Based Computing / 2003
Helsinki University of Technology, 
     Laboratory for Theoretical Computer Science

T-79.230 Foundations of Agent-Based Computing (3 cr)

Spring 2003

[General Information] [Examinations] [Lectures] [Seminar] [Project assignments] [TOPI]

Other years: [Spring 2004] [Spring 2002]

Topics of this course include theory, implementation technology and applications of agent-based systems.

General Information

  • Registrations using TOPI or by attending the first two lectures.
  • Lectures by D.Sc.(Tech.) Tomi Janhunen: Tuesdays 11-14, room TB353
  • Tutorials and project assignments by Stud.Tech. Mikko Särelä: Thursdays 15-16, room TB353
  • Course material:
    • Russel, S. and Norvig, P.: Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. Prentice Hall, 1995.
    • Seminar articles (see below).
  • Project assignments will be related to the simulation league of RoboCup.
  • In order to pass the course one has to
    • give a seminar talk
    • complete a project assignment and
    • pass an exam.
  • Brochure (.ps.gz / .pdf) in Finnish.

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  • April 3, 2003, final results (published on May 20, 2003)
  • May 8, 2003 final results (published on May 27, 2003)
  • September 3, 2003 final results (published on October 21, 2003)
  • Next exam will be arranged in Spring 2004.
  • Please register for the exams using TOPI.

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Lectures and Tutorials

Tentative schedule for Spring 2003

January 14: Introduction (.ps.gz / .pdf)
Practical arrangements, a brief introduction
January 16: Tutorial 1 (RoboCup demo)
January 21: Lecture 1 (.ps.gz / .pdf)
Intelligent agents [R&N: Chapter 2]
January 23: no tutorial, but help for making project proposals
January 28: Lecture 2 (.ps.gz / .pdf)
Uncertainty [R&N: Chapter 14]
January 30: Tutorial 2 (solutions), project proposals due
February 4: Lecture 3 (.ps.gz / .pdf)
Belief networks [R&N: Chapter 15]
February 6: Tutorial 3 (solutions)
February 11: Lecture 4 (.ps.gz / .pdf)
Making simple decisions [R&N: Chapter 16]
February 13: Tutorial 4 (solutions)
February 18: no lecture due to skiing holidays
February 20: no tutorial
February 25: Lecture 5 (.ps.gz / .pdf)
Making complex decisions [R&N: Chapter 17]
February 27: Tutorial 5 (solutions)
March 4: Lecture 5 (.ps.gz / .pdf)
Learning [R&N: Chapters 18.1-18.5, 18.7, and 19.6]
March 6: Tutorial 6 (solutions)

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Seminar presentations

Are based on articles that were presented at the First International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems 2002 (AAMAS 2002). Papers can be easily accessed (at least from the domain) through



  • Presentations are supposed to last at least 35 minutes.
  • In addition, 10 minutes will be reserved for questions and discussion.
  • Appropriateness of articles is approved by the lecturer. Please send an email in which you specify
    • which article(s) you would like to present; and
    • when you would like to give your talk.
  • If the article that you are interested in appears to be too short/superficial (to make a 35 minute presentation), you may
    • either check the references for futher material; or
    • present another but related paper.
  • Incoming requests are served on first-come-first-served basis.
  • Making a summary of you paper is not required, but you are supposed to give a copy of your slides for the lecturer.


March 18, 12:15-13:00: Teddy Grenman presents a paper "Improving Fault-Tolerance by Replicating Agents" by A. Fedoruk and R. Deters
March 18, 13:15-14:00: Teemu Kämäräinen presents a paper "How Social Spiders Inspired an Approach to Region Detection" by C. Bourjot, V. Chevrier, and V. Thomas
March 25, 12:15-13:00: Tero Hilska presents a paper "Object Persistence for Synthetic Creatures" by D.A. Isla and B.M. Blumberg
March 25, 13:15-14:00: Antti Savolainen presents a paper "Designing an Auction Protocol under Asymmetric Information on Nature's Selection" by T. Ito, M. Yokoo, and S. Matsubara
April 1, 11:15-12:00: Markus Eräpolku presents a paper "Interacting with Virtual Characters in Interactive Storytelling" by M. Cavazza, F. Charles, and S.J. Mead
April 1, 12:15-13:00: Jan Lönnberg presents a paper "Learning Sequences of Actions in Collectives of Autonomous Agents" by K. Tumer, A.K. Agogino, and D.H. Wolpert
April 1, 13:15-14:00: Antti Päällysaho presents a paper "How to Make a Self-Reconfigurable Robot Run" by K. Støy, W.-M. Shen, and P. Will
April 8, 11:15-12:00: Kari Kostiainen presents a paper "A Step Towards Irrationality: Using Emotions to Change Belief" by S. Marsellas, and J. Gratch
April 8, 12:15-13:00: Esa Linnanto presents a paper "Extracting Reputation in Multi Agent Systems by Means of Social Network Topology" by J.M. Pujol, R. Sangeusa, and J. Delgado
April 8, 13:15-14:00: Samuli Kekki presents a paper "PETEEI: A PET with Evolving Emotional Intelligence" by M.S. El-Nasr, T.R. Ioerger, and J. Yen
April 15, 11:15-12:00: Juha Raitio presents a paper "A Multiagent Reinforcement Learning Algorithm using Extended Optimal Response" by N. Suematsu and A. Hayashi
April 15, 13:15-14:00: Tommi Vainikainen presents a paper "Self-organising Communities Formed by Middle Aents" by F. Wang

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Project assignments

  • Results as of July 9, 2003.
  • You are supposed to make a short project proposal (at most one page) by January 30.
  • Proposals are sent/given to Mikko Särelä for his approval.
The following issues should be addressed in proposals:
  • The project team (from 1 to 3 persons).
  • What is to be done:
    • Basically you should implement a soccer playing agent that is able to make a goal and to act as a goalie.
    • It is also possible to make enhancements to an existing implementation (many of which can be accessed from RoboCup Simulator Team Repository).
  • What tools, programming language(s) and libraries are to be used.
Project assignments are due by April 28, 2003. The demos and short presentations on implementations are arranged on April 29, 2003, starting at 11:15 hours.


  • gcc has been updated in niksula which may cause problems when compiling RoboCup software. One solution is to mention directory /p/compilers/gcc-3.0.4/lib/ as the value of the environment variable LD_LIBRARY_PATH.

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Latest update: 20 December 2004. Tomi Janhunen