As in most multi-agent systems, conflicts are possible between SiFAs. A conflict is any situation when two agents disagree. The disagreement can be about the value of a design parameter or any other piece of information generated during the design, such as a criticism or an evaluation. The agent that detects a conflict is called the initiator of the conflict.
The conflicts between SiFAs are classified based on the pair of agent types (functions) that are involved in the conflict.
Each possible conflict may be represented in a matrix shown in table 3.1. The agents that label the rows are the initiators of the conflict. The entries that are marked are the currently known meaningful conflicts. Some conflicts, such as a conflict between an estimator and an evaluator, initiated by the evaluator, are not meaningful. Some of the entries however are not marked because they have not been investigated yet.
Table 3.1: Matrix of conflict types
Certain entries may have more than one kind of conflict associated with them, i.e., there are two different possible conflicts that an evaluator can initiate with a selector. The number of possible kinds of known conflicts in any entry are designated by the number of 's.