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

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

Spring 2005

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

Other years: [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001] [2000] [1999] [1998]

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

General Information

  • Please use the TOPI system in order to get registered for the course.
  • Lectures: docent, D.Sc.(Tech.) Tomi Janhunen: Tuesdays 11-14, room TB353.
    Office hours: see the lecturer's home page.
  • Tutorials and project assignments: Lic.(Tech.) Toni Jussila: Thursdays 15-16, room TB353.
  • Course material:
    • Stuart Russel and Peter Norvig: Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. Second edition. Prentice Hall, 2003.
    • Selected articles from the AAMAS 2004 conference (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 in Finnish (.pdf).

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  • We welcome your feedback (there are separate forms in Finnish, Swedish, and English)!
  • Those who filled in filling in the form by May 20, 2005, were awarded a bonus of 0.5 points for the exams arranged in April and May. Please note that one must pass the exam without the bonus.
  • April 25, 2005, final results (published June 9, 2005)
  • May 16, 2005, final results (published June 9, 2005)
  • September 2, 2005, final results (published October 10, 2005)
  • May 18, 2006, the last exam, final results (published June 13, 2006)
  • NOTE: accepted project assignments, seminar talks, and passed exams are valid until May 2006 when the last exam under the course code T-79.230 will be arranged.
  • Please register for the exams using TOPI; registration will be activated two weeks before each exam.

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Lectures and Tutorials

Instructions how to write a voluntary learning diary (in Finnish). Learning diaries have now been graded (published June 9, 2005).

Schedule for Spring 2005

January 18: Lecture 1
Practical arrangements (.pdf)
Intelligent agents (.pdf) [R&N: Chapter 2]
January 20: Tutorial 1 (RoboCup demo and project proposals)
January 25: Lecture 2
Uncertainty (.pdf) [R&N: Chapter 13; excluding section 13.7]
January 27: Tutorial 2 (.pdf), solutions (.pdf)
February 1: Lecture 3
Probabilistic reasoning (.pdf) [R&N: Chapter 14; excluding section 14.6]
February 3: Tutorial 3 (.pdf), solutions (.pdf)
February 8: Lecture 4
Probabilistic reasoning over time (.pdf) [R&N: Chapter 15; excluding sections 15.4 and 15.6]
February 10: Tutorial 4 (.pdf), solutions (.pdf)
February 15: Lecture 5
Making simple decisions (.pdf) [R&N: Chapter 16]
February 17: Tutorial 5 was canceled; transferred to February 24
February 22: no lecture due to skiing holidays
February 24: Tutorial 5 (.pdf), solutions (.pdf)
March 1: Lecture 6
Making complex decisions (.pdf) [R&N: Chapter 17; excluding section 17.4 and 17.6-7]
March 3: Tutorial 6 (.pdf), solutions (.pdf)
March 8: Lecture 7
Learning from observations (.pdf) [R&N: Chapter 18; excluding section 18.5]
March 10: Tutorial 7 (.pdf), solutions (.pdf)
March 15: Lecture 8
Logical and Bayesian learning (.pdf) [R&N: Sections 19.1 and 20.1]
March 17: Tutorial 8 (.pdf), solutions (.pdf)

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Seminar presentations

Are based on articles that were presented at the Third International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems 2004 (AAMAS 2004). The list of articles can be accessed through (vol 1, vol 2, vol 3) but the pdf-versions of the articles are not freely available. One way to retreive them within our campus network is to enter the web site of TKK library. Then you should make e.g. the following selctions: Kokoelmat/Elektroniset, Elektroniset lehdet, I (just the letter), IEEE (any proceedings/journal link will bring you to IEEE Xplore service), Conference Proceedings (in Tables of Contents), MultiAgent (type this in the search field and press "Go"), Autonomous Agents and Multi Agent Systems, 2004, AAMAS, ..., finally follow the link 19-23 July 2004, and then you may use page numbers to track down your choice. Quite simple indeed!


  • List of accepted seminar presentations (published June 8, 2005).


  • 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.
  • The deadline for the paper reservations is March 15, 2004.
  • Making a summary of your paper is not required, but you are supposed to give a copy of your slides to the lecturer.
  • Seminar sessions take place in room TB353.


March 22, 11:15-12:00: Aleksi Ahtiainen presented a paper "A Comparison of Fast Search Methods for Real-Time Situated Agents" by S. Koenig
March 22, 12:15-13:00: Juhana Yrjölä presented a paper "Exploring the Scalability of Character-Based Storytelling" by F. Charles and M. Cavazza
March 22, 13:15-14:00: Jaakko Nyrölä presented a paper "Normative Agent Reasoning in Dynamic Societies" by F. López y López, M. Luck, and M. d'Inverno
March 22, 14:15-15:00: Billy Brumley presented a paper "Negotiation-Based Price Discrimination for Information Goods" by G. Koifman, O. Shehory, and A. Gal
March 22, 15:15-16:00: Antti Rusanen presented a paper "Preferences in Game Logics" by S. van Otterloo, W. van der Hoek, and M. Wooldridge
April 5, 12:15-13:00: Juho Törmä presented a paper "Scaling Teamwork to Very Large Teams" by P. Scerri, Y. Xu, E. Liao, J. Lai, and K. Sycara-Cyranski
April 5, 13:15-14:00: Tuomo Latto presented a paper "Monitoring and Organizational-Level Adaptation of Multi-Agent Systems" by Z. Guessoum, M. Ziane, and N. Faci
April 5, 14:15-15:00: Teppo Valtonen presented a paper "QueryTracker: An Agent for Tracking Persistent Information Needs" by G. Somlo and A. Howe
April 5, 15:15-16:00: Antti Villberg presented a paper "Domain independent learning of ontology mappings" by F. Wiesman and N. Roos
April 7, 15:15-16:00: Tapani Raiko presented a paper "Bayesian Reinforcement Learning for Coalition Formation Under Uncertainty" by G. Chalkiadakis, C. Boutilier
April 12, 11:15-12:00: Antti Yli-Krekola presented a paper "Reasoning about Rationality and Beliefs" by Y. Gal and A. Pfeffer
April 12, 12:15-13:00: Tuukka Haapasalo presented a paper "Achieving Dynamic Interfaces with Agent Concepts" by T. Juan and L. Sterling
April 12, 13:15-14:00: Cay Blomqvist presented a paper "Exploration of Unknown Environments with Motivational Agents" by L. Macedo and A. Cardoso
April 12, 14:15-15:00: Rami Anttila presented a paper "Multiagent Traffic Management: A Reservation-Based Intersection Control Mechanism" by K. Dresner and P. Stone
April 12, 15:15-16:00: Giovanni Zappella presented a paper "Intelligent Agents Meet Semantic Web in a Smart Meeting Room" by H. Chen, F. Perich, D. Chakraborty, T. Finin, and A. Joshi
April 14, 15:15-16:00: Troy Goldschmidt presented a paper "Trust Dynamics: How Trust Is Influenced by Direct Experiences and by Trust Itself" by R. Falcone and C. Castelfranchi
April 19, 11:15-12:00: Octavio Nogueda Pegueros presented a paper "A Multi-Agent Approach for Peer-to-Peer-based Information Retrieval Systems" by H. Zhang; W. Croft, B. Levine, V. Lesser
April 19, 12:15-13:00: Kimmo Kinnunen presented a paper "Universality in Multi-Agent Systems" by H. Van Dyke Parunak, S. Brueckner, and R. Savit
April 19, 13:15-14:00: Sakari Strömmer presented a paper "Multi-Agent Patrolling with Reinforcement Learning" by H. Santana, G. Ramalho, V. Corruble, and B. Ratitch
April 19, 14:15-15:00: Marko Nikula presented a paper "The SPARK Agent Framework" by D. Morley and K. Myers

Rescheduled presentations

May 10, 13:15-14:00: Edvard Fagerholm presented a paper "Strategic Deception in Agents" by D. Christian and R. M. Young
May 24, 12:15-13:00: Laura Kneckt presented a paper "Experiments in Human Multi-Issue Negotiation: Analysis and Support" by T. Bosse, C. Jonker, and J. Treur

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Project assignments

The latest RoboCup environment (soccer server and monitor) will be installed to Niksula workstations (machines named after various spices). We will recommend one or two existing teams to be used as the basis of implementations. You are supposed to make a short project proposal (at most one page) in which you address the following issues:
  • 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.
  • Which tools and programming language(s) are to be used.
Proposals are sent/given to the course assistant (Toni Jussila).


  • Project proposals are due by February 3, 2005.
  • Project assignments are due by May 2, 2005 (24:00).
  • You are supposed to send your implementation (source code) and a short note describing what has been accomplished by the team to Toni Jussila. Please do not send separate files; a tar archive or an URL to visit is preferred.
  • The demos and short presentations on implementations are arranged on May 3, 2005, starting at 11:15 hours (this session is expected to last two hours or so). In addition to individual presentations, the plan is to arrange a playful cup to find out the best team.


  • List of accepted project assignments which including grades (published June 9, 2005).

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Latest update: 13 June 2006. Tomi Janhunen

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