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Engineering World-Wide Multi-Agent Systems with Hypermedia

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Engineering Multi-Agent Systems (EMAS 2018)

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science ((LNAI,volume 11375))

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A well studied problem in the engineering of open MASs is to enable uniform interaction among heterogeneous agents. However, AOSE as a field has grown to recognize that a MAS consists of more than only agents and thus should be designed on multiple dimensions (including the environment, organization etc.). The problem of enabling interaction among heterogeneous entities across dimensions is either not considered, or it is addressed in an ad hoc and non-uniform manner. In this chapter, we introduce a novel approach to use hypermedia as a general mechanism to support uniform interaction in MASs. The core idea is that agents use hypermedia to discover at runtime (i) other entities in a MAS (e.g., other agents, tools, organizations) and (ii) the means to interact with those entities (e.g., interaction protocols, APIs). This reduces coupling and enhances the scalability and evolvability of the MAS. We present a demonstrator that supports these claims. We believe that a hypermedia-based mechanism for uniform interaction in MASs could provide a foundation for engineering world-wide MASs.

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    Note that FIPA already proposed an RDF-based content language for FIPA messages:, accessed: 05.11.2018.

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    We are not interested here in the entities’ internal state.

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    Note that while any entity in a MAS could be encapsulated behind an agent (and then described using existing FIPA standards), this approach would simply obscure large parts of the MAS. The literature on engineering MASs already provides arguments for considering MASs as composed of more than just agents (e.g., see [4, 37]).

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    We leave a more complete treatment of MASs as future work (see Sect. 5).

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    Yggdrasil is a mythical tree that interconnects the nine worlds in Norse mythology.

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Correspondence to Andrei Ciortea .

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Ciortea, A., Boissier, O., Ricci, A. (2019). Engineering World-Wide Multi-Agent Systems with Hypermedia. In: Weyns, D., Mascardi, V., Ricci, A. (eds) Engineering Multi-Agent Systems. EMAS 2018. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 11375. Springer, Cham.

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