Agent-Oriented Programming with Underlying Ontological Reasoning

  • Álvaro F. Moreira
  • Renata Vieira
  • Rafael H. Bordini
  • Jomi F. Hübner
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3904)


Developing applications that make effective use of machine-readable knowledge sources as promised by the Semantic Web vision is attracting much of current research interest; this vision is also affecting important trends in computer science such as grid-based and ubiquitous computing. In this paper, we formally define a version of the BDI agent-oriented programming language AgentSpeak based on description logic rather than predicate logic. In this approach, the belief base of an agent contains the definition of complex concepts, besides specific factual knowledge. We illustrate the approach using examples based on the well-known smart meeting-room scenario. The advantages of combining AgentSpeak with description logics are: (i) queries to the belief base are more expressive as their results do not rely only on explicit knowledge but can be inferred from the ontology; (ii) the notion of belief update is refined given that (ontological) consistency of a belief addition can be checked; (iii) retrieving a plan for handling an event is more flexible as it is not based solely on unification but on the subsumption relation between concepts; and (iv) agents may share knowledge by using ontology languages such as OWL. Extending agent programming languages with description logics can have a significant impact on the development of multi-agent systems for the semantic web.


Multiagent System Description Logic Operational Semantic Belief Base Ontological Reasoning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Alechina, N., Jago, M., Logan, B.: Resource-bounded Belief Revision and Contraction. In: Baldoni, M., Endriss, U., Omicini, A., Torroni, P. (eds.) DALT 2005. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 3904, pp. 141–154. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ancona, D., Mascardi, V., Hübner, J.F., Bordini, R.H.: Coo-AgentSpeak: Cooperation in AgentSpeak through plan exchange. In: Proceedings of the Third International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS 2004), July 19-23, pp. 698–705. ACM Press, New York (2004)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Baader, F., Calvanese, D., McGuinness, D.N.D., Patel-Schneider, P. (eds.): Handbook of Description Logics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2003)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Baader, F., Nutt, W.: Basic description logics. In: Baader, F., Calvanese, D., McGuinness, D.N.D., Patel-Schneider, P. (eds.) Handbook of Description Logics, pp. 43–95. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2003)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Beun, R.-J., van Eijk, R.M., Prüst, H.: Ontological feedback in multiagent systems. In: Proceedings of the Third International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi Agent Systems (AAMAS 2004), New York, NY, July 19-23 (2004)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bordini, R.H., Bazzan, A.L.C., Jannone, R.O., Basso, D.M., Vicari, R.M., Lesser, V.R.: AgentSpeak(XL): Efficient intention selection in BDI agents via decision-theoretic task scheduling. In: Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS 2002), Bologna, Italy, July 15-19, pp. 1294–1302. ACM Press, New York (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bordini, R.H., Hübner, J.F., et al.: Jason: A Java-based AgentSpeak interpreter used with Saci for multi-agent distribution over the net, manual, version 0.6 edition (Feburary 2005),
  8. 8.
    Bordini, R.H., Moreira, Á.F.: Proving BDI properties of agent-oriented programming languages: The asymmetry thesis principles in AgentSpeak(L). Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence 42(1-3), 197–226 (2004), Special Issue on Computational Logic in Multi-Agent SystemsMathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chen, H., Finin, T., Joshi, A., Perich, F., Chakraborty, D., Kagal, L.: Intelligent agents meet the semantic web in smart spaces. IEEE Internet Computing 19(5), 69–79 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chen, H., Perich, F., Finin, T., Joshi, A.: SOUPA: Standard Ontology for Ubiquitous and Pervasive Applications. In: International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Networking and Services, Boston, MA (August 2004)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    da Rocha Costa, A.C., Hübner, J.F., Bordini, R.H.: On entering an open society. In: XI Brazilian Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Fortaleza, October 1994, pp. 535–546. Brazilian Computing Society (1994)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ding, Y., Fensel, D., Klein, M.C.A., Omelayenko, B., Schulten, E.: The role of ontologies in ecommerce. In: Staab and Studer [24], pp. 593–616Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Foster, I., Kesselman, C. (eds.): The Grid 2: Blueprint for a New Computing Infrastructure, 2nd edn. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco (2003)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Haarslev, V., Moller, R.: Description of the RACER system and its applications. In: Goble, C.A., McGuinness, D.L., Möller, R., Patel-Schneider, P.F. (eds.) Proceedings of the International Workshop in Description Logics 2001 (DL 2001) (2001)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Horrocks, I.: FaCT and iFaCT. In: Lambrix, P., Borgida, A., Lenzerini, M., Möller, R., Patel-Schneider, P. (eds.) Proceedings of the International Workshop on Description Logics (DL 1999), pp. 133–135 (1999)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Horrocks, I., Patel-Schneider, P.F.: Reducing OWL entailment to description logic satisfiability. In: Fensel, D., Sycara, K., Mylopoulos, J. (eds.) ISWC 2003. LNCS, vol. 2870, pp. 17–29. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    McGuinness, D.L., van Harmelen, F. (eds.): OWL Web Ontology Language overview. W3C Recommendation (February 2004), Avalilable at
  18. 18.
    Middleton, S.E., Roure, D.D., Shadbolt, N.R.: Ontology-based recommender systems. In: Staab and Studer [24], pp. 498–577Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Moreira, Á.F., Vieira, R., Bordini, R.H.: Extending the operational semantics of a BDI agent-oriented programming language for introducing speech-act based communication. In: Leite, J., Omicini, A., Sterling, L., Torroni, P. (eds.) DALT 2003. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 2990, pp. 135–154. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Patel-Schneider, P.F.: DLP system description. In: Franconi, E., Giacomo, G.D., Mac- Gregor, R.M., Nutt, W., Welty, C.A., Sebastiani, F. (eds.) Proceedings of the International Workshop in Description Logics 1998 (DL 1998), pp. 133–135 (1998)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Plotkin, G.: A structural approach to operational semantics, Technical Report, Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University (1981)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rao, A.S.: AgentSpeak(L): BDI agents speak out in a logical computable language. In: Perram, J., Van de Velde, W. (eds.) MAAMAW 1996. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 1038, pp. 42–55. Springer, Heidelberg (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Shoham, Y.: Agent-oriented programming. Artificial Intelligence 60, 51–92 (1993)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Staab, S., Studer, R. (eds.): Handbook on Ontologies. International Handbooks on Information Systems. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)MATHGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Stevens, R., Wroe, C., Lord, P.W., Goble, C.A.: Ontologies in bioinformatics. In: Staab and Studer [24], pp. 635–658Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Álvaro F. Moreira
    • 1
  • Renata Vieira
    • 2
  • Rafael H. Bordini
    • 3
  • Jomi F. Hübner
    • 4
  1. 1.Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade do Vale do Rio dos SinosBrazil
  3. 3.University of DurhamUK
  4. 4.Universidade Regional de BlumenauBrazil

Personalised recommendations