So far, the main focus of research on adaptability in multi-agent systems (MASs) has been on the agents’ behavior, for example on developing new learning techniques and more flexible action selection mechanisms. In this paper, we introduce a different type of adaptability in MASs, called
time management adaptability
. Time management adaptability focuses on adaptability in MASs with respect to execution control. First, time management adaptability allows a MAS to be adaptive with respect to its execution platform, anticipating arbitrary and varying timing delays which can violate correctness. Second, time management adaptability allows the execution policy of a MAS to be customized at will to suit the needs of a particular application. We discuss the essential parts of time management adaptability: (1) we employ
as a means to explicitly capture the execution policy derived from the application’s execution requirements, (2) we classify and evaluate
time management mechanisms
which can be used to enforce time models, and (3) we introduce a
MAS execution control platform
which combines both previous parts to offer high-level execution control.