With the advancement of teleconferencing technologies, human users are collaborating online more than ever today. To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of online human coalitions, one needs to support and facilitate collaborations among human users who may or may not know of each other well and of how to work well together as a team or in a team. Here we propose the Integrated Human Coalition Formation and Scaffolding (iHUCOFS) framework. This multiagent framework considers the roles of an agent as both an advisor and a representative to a human user, the tradeoffs between forming and scaffolding human coalitions, and how scaffolding could impact human behaviors for future coalitions. Based on the axioms and design principles of iHUCOFS, we have developed VALCAM—an iterative auction based coalition formation algorithm. To investigate the feasibility and impact of VALCAM, we have conducted an experiment in a computer-supported collaborative learning environment and obtained promising results
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