Date: 02 Oct 2001

Virtual Enterprise Design - BDI Agents vs. Objects

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Current research identifying architectures for a virtual enterprise has moved from information modelling to role modelling. Thus, a high level of autonomy results from the distribution of responsibilities, capabilities, and knowledge among different business units in the virtual enterprise at the design stage. Current trends tend towards using object-oriented technology as an effective abstract system design and implementation methodology. We argue that applying the software agent paradigm to the virtual enterprise provides various advantages on both the design and operational levels. We further show that the Belief Desire Intention agent architecture has additional abilities of mapping real world business unit autonomy and interaction. We also introduce the Belief Desire Intention agent paradigm capability of facilitating highly flexible (agile) enterprise design and implementation.