Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 621–657 | Cite as

Muon: designing multiagent communication protocols from interaction scenarios



Designing a suitable communication protocol is a key challenge in engineering a multiagent system. This paper proposes Muon, an approach that begins from representative samples of interactions or scenarios. Muon identifies key semantic structures and patterns based on (social) commitments to formally analyze the scenarios and offers a methodology for designing protocols that would meet stakeholder needs. Interestingly, Muon applies its formal representations to suggest ways to identify additional scenarios needed to address exceptions arising in the interactions. This paper contributes (1) a conceptual model of message types and causal relationships among them as a foundation for developing commitment-based communication protocols; (2) a robust, reusable characterization of semantic structures reflecting the above model; (3) a mapping from an annotated scenario to causally related interactions; and (4) a methodology to synthesize specifications of communication protocols. This paper reports on an empirical evaluation involving developers creating protocols from two real-life cases.


Commitments Protocols Interactions Dooley graphs 



Special thanks to Ashok Mallya for early discussions that led to this work. Thanks to Amit Chopra, Nirmit Desai, Jon Doyle, Scott Gerard, Emerson Murphy-Hill, Pankaj Telang, and the anonymous reviewers for helpful comments. This work was partially supported by the NSF under Grant 0910868 and by the U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) under Grant W911NF-08-1-0105 managed by the NCSU Secure Open Systems Initiative.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.North Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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