Algorithms for Distributed Constraint Satisfaction: A Review

Makoto Yokoo, Katsutoshi Hirayama

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

277 Citations (Scopus)


When multiple agents are in a shared environment, there usually exist constraints among the possible actions of these agents. A distributed constraint satisfaction problem (distributed CSP) is a problem to find a consistent combination of actions that satisfies these inter-agent constraints. Various application problems in multi-agent systems can be formalized as distributed CSPs. This paper gives an overview of the existing research on distributed CSPs. First, we briefly describe the problem formalization and algorithms of normal, centralized CSPs. Then, we show the problem formalization and several MAS application problems of distributed CSPs. Furthermore, we describe a series of algorithms for solving distributed CSPs, i.e., the asynchronous backtracking, the asynchronous weak-commitment search, the distributed breakout, and distributed consistency algorithms. Finally, we show two extensions of the basic problem formalization of distributed CSPs, i.e., handling multiple local variables, and dealing with over-constrained problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-207
Number of pages23
JournalAutonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence


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