RETSINA is an implemented Multi-Agent System infrastructure that has been developed for several years and applied in many domains ranging from financial portfolio management to logistic planning. In this paper, we distill from our experience in developing MASs to clearly define a generic MAS infrastructure as the domain independent and reusable substratum that supports the agents' social interactions. In addition, we show that the MAS infrastructure imposes requirements on an individual agent if the agent is to be a member of a MAS and take advantage of various components of the MAS infrastructure. Although agents are expected to enter a MAS and seamlessly and effortlessly interact with the agents in the MAS infrastructure, the current state of the art demands agents to be programmed with the knowledge of what infrastructure they will utilize, and what are various fall-back and recovery mechanisms that the infrastructure provides. By providing an abstract MAS infrastructure model and a concrete implemented instance of the model, RETSINA, we contribute towards the development of principles and practice to make the MAS infrastructure "invisible'' and ubiquitous to the interacting agents.
- Multi-Agent System