. A critical challenge to creating effective multi-agent systems is allowing them to operate effectively in environments where failures (`exceptions') can occur. This paper describes the motivation, progress and plans for work being pursued in this area by the MIT Adaptive Systems and Evolutionary Software research group (http://ccs.mit.edu/ases/). 1. The Challenge: Enabling Robust Open Multi-Agent Systems "open systems ... represent arguably the most important application for multiagent systems" (Wooldridge, Jennings et al. 1999) This paper addresses one simple question: how can we develop effective multi-agent systems out of the diverse and unreliable (buggy, malicious, or simply "dumb") agents and infrastructures we can expect to encounter in open system contexts? This is becoming an increasingly critical question because of emerging changes in the way human organizations work. Globalization, enabled by ubiquitous telecommunications, has increasingly required that organizations ..