Multi-agent systems (MAS) have been considered a potential solution for developing adaptive systems. The design of MAS however is difficult because the global effect emerges from local actions and interactions that can be hard to specify and control. In order to achieve high level resilience and robustness of MAS and retain the capability of specifying desired global effects, we propose a cellular self-organizing (CSO) system framework and a biologically inspired behavior based design approach (BDA) and a field based regulative control mechanism (FBR). The BDA approach links global functional requirements with the local behavior design of a CSO system. FBR is a real-time, dynamical, distributed mechanism that regulates the emergence process for CSOs to self-organize and self-reconfigure in complex operation environments. BDA and FBR together extend the system adaptability without imposing global control over local agents. This paper describes the models of CSO, BDA and FBR and demonstrates their effectiveness by presenting simulation based case studies in which CSO agents explore an unknown environment and move an object to designated locations.

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