Abstract

A watershed can be considered a multi-agent system (MAS) composed of water users (agents) spatially distributed in a distinct manner within a common defined environment from which they can all access a particular resource. The watershed system is characterized by distributed decision processes at the agent level and a coordination mechanism organizing the interactions among individual decision processes. This paper presents a decentralized optimization method known as constraint-based reasoning, which allows individual agents in a multi-agent system to optimize their behaviors. The method incorporates the optimization of all agents' objectives through a bargaining scheme, in which the i th agent optimizes its objective with a selected priority for collaboration and sends the solution back to all agents that interact with it. This methodology allows agents to determine how important their own objectives are in comparison to the constraints, using a local interest factor (β i). A large β i value indicates a selfish agent who puts high priority on its own local benefit and ignores constraints. This analysis is applied to a hypothetical watershed with three offstream human agents (city and farms), one instream human agent (reservoir) and two ecological agents (fish habitat in the river). The proposed approach takes the objectives of individual agents into account and balances them through interactions among the agents. This bottom-up problem-solving approach mimics real-world watershed management problems better than conventional "top-down" optimization methods in which it is assumed that individual agents will completely comply with any recommendations that the coordinator makes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009 - World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009
Subtitle of host publicationGreat Rivers
Pages4608-4615
Number of pages8
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 26 2009
EventWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009: Great Rivers - Kansas City, MO, United States
Duration: May 17 2009May 21 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009 - World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009: Great Rivers
Volume342

Other

OtherWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009: Great Rivers
CountryUnited States
CityKansas City, MO
Period5/17/095/21/09

Keywords

  • Decentralized optimization
  • Ecohydrology
  • Multi-agent systems
  • Penalty-based methods
  • Watershed management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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  • Cite this

    Yang, Y. C. E., Cai, X., & Stipanović, D. M. (2009). A decentralized optimization algorithm for multi-agent system based watershed management. In Proceedings of World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009 - World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009: Great Rivers (pp. 4608-4615). (Proceedings of World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009 - World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009: Great Rivers; Vol. 342). https://doi.org/10.1061/41036(342)463