Distributed constraint optimization problems and applications: A survey

Ferdinando Fioretto, Enrico Pontelli, William Yeoh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


The field of multi-agent system (MAS) is an active area of research within artificial intelligence, with an increasingly important impact in industrial and other real-world applications. In a MAS, autonomous agents interact to pursue personal interests and/or to achieve common objectives. Distributed Constraint Optimization Problems (DCOPs) have emerged as a prominent agent model to govern the agents' autonomous behavior, where both algorithms and communication models are driven by the structure of the specific problem. During the last decade, several extensions to the DCOP model have been proposed to enable support of MAS in complex, real-time, and uncertain environments. This survey provides an overview of the DCOP model, offering a classification of its multiple extensions and addressing both resolution methods and applications that find a natural mapping within each class of DCOPs. The proposed classification suggests several future perspectives for DCOP extensions and identifies challenges in the design of efficient resolution algorithms, possibly through the adaptation of strategies from different areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-698
Number of pages76
JournalJournal of Artificial Intelligence Research
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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