A Modeling Framework for Generic Agent Interaction Protocols
Agent-UML (AUML) extended UML in order to facilitate the modeling process for agent based systems. It offers several graphical notations, including protocol diagrams which represent agent interaction protocols. In this paper, we describe an AUML-based framework to specify generic protocols. We call generic protocols, agent interaction protocols where only a general behavior of the interacting entities can be described. From AUML protocol diagrams, we identified five fundamental concepts on top of which we defined formal specifications of generic protocols. Through our specifications, we addressed a lack in generic protocol representation by emphasizing the description of actions performed in the course of interactions based on such protocols. The framework we developed is formal, expressive and of practical use. It helps decouple interaction concerns from the rest of an agent’s architecture. As an application, we used this framework to publish the specifications of generic protocols for agent interactions in several multi-agent system applications we developed. Additionally, the framework helped us address two issues faced in the design of agent interactions based on generic protocols, protocol configuration and their dynamic selection.
KeywordsMultiagent System Message Exchange Generic Protocol Agent Interaction Initiator Role
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