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Design is a very important activity and requires formal study. The importance of design activity has been recognized since approximately 2000 B.C., when Hammurabi, the king of Babylon enacted a law about the dangers of designing houses. The law said:

If a designer-builder has designed-built a house for a man and his work is not good, and if the house he has designed-built falls in and kills the householder, that designer-builder shall be slain.
The original of Hammurabi's Code is on a stela in Cuneiform in the Louvre, Paris.

Design in general is a very complicated task and it is very hard to model all design activity in a single computational framework. Therefore this work focuses on a restricted set of design problems.

This chapter explains the set of problems that this work deals with, introduces multi-agent systems and single function agents, and then describes the main focus of our work, which is conflicts and negotiation.

Ilan Berker
Thu Apr 27 16:25:38 EDT 1995