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Hartmann, Stephan; Pigozzi, Gabriella (2007): Aggregation in Multi-Agent Systems and the Problem of Truth-Tracking. International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, May 14-18, Honolulu, Hawai'i.
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One of the major problems that artificial intelligence needs to tackle is the combination of different and potentially conflicting sources of information. Examples are multi-sensor fusion, database integration and expert systems development. In this paper we are interested in the aggregation of propositional logic-based information, a problem recently addressed in the literature on information fusion. It has applications in multi-agent systems that aim at aggregating the distributed agent-based knowledge into an (ideally) unique set of propositions. We consider a group of autonomous agents who individually hold a logically consistent set of propositions. Each set of propositions represents an agent’s beliefs on issues on which the group has to make a collective decision. To make the collective decision, several aggregation procedures have been proposed in the literature. Assuming that all propositions in question are factually right or wrong, we ask how good belief fusion is as a truth tracker. Will it single out the true set of propositions? And how does information fusion compare with other aggregation procedures? We address these questions in a probabilistic framework and show that information fusion does especially well for agents with a middling competence of hitting the truth of an individual proposition.