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Sophisticated agents operating in open environments must make decisions that efficiently trade off the use of their limited resources between dynamic deliberative actions and domain actions. This is the meta-level control problem for agents operating in resource-bounded multi-agent environments. Control activities involve decisions on when to invoke and the amount to effort to put into scheduling and coordination of domain activities. The focus of this paper is how to make effectivemeta-level control decisions. We show that meta-level control with bounded computational overhead allows complex agents to solve problems more efficiently than current approaches in dynamic open multi-agent environments. The meta-level control approach that we present is based on the decision-theoretic use of an abstract representation of the agent state. This abstraction concisely captures critical information necessary for decision making while bounding the cost of meta-level control and is appropriate for use in automatically learning the meta-level control policies.


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