A Goal-Based Organizational Perspective on Multi-agent Architectures

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2333)


A Multi-Agent System (MAS) is an organization of coordinated autonomous agents that interact in order to achieve common goals. Considering real world organizations as an analogy, this paper proposes architectural styles for MAS which adopt concepts from organization theory and strategic alliances literature. The styles are intended to represent a macro-level architecture of a MAS, and they are modeled using the i* framework which offers the notions of actor, goal and actor dependency for modeling multi-agent settings. The styles are also specified as metaconcepts in the Telos modeling language. Moreover, each style is evaluated with respect to a set of software quality attributes, such as predictability and adaptability. The paper also explores the adoption of micro-level patterns proposed elsewhere in order to give a finer-grain description of a MAS architecture. These patterns define how goals assigned to actors participating in an organizational architecture will be fulfilled by agents. An e-business example illustrates both the styles and patterns proposed in this work. The research is being conducted within the context of Tropos, a comprehensive software development methodology for agent-oriented software.


Joint Venture Info Searcher Architectural Style Product Database Agent Pattern 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IAG — Information Systems Research UnitUniversity of LouvainLouvain-La-NeuveBelgium
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsUniversity of TrentoTrentoItaly
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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