A Software Engineering Process for BDI Agents

  • Aaron Hector
  • Frans Henskens
  • Michael Hannaford
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4953)


Software agents provide an increasingly popular approach to software engineering, offering a fundamentally different design technique for software development based around the creation and deployment of autonomous software components. One of the leading models for the development of agent-based software is the Belief-Desire-Intention (BDI) model. In order to effectively develop BDI systems, a software development process is required, similar to those that exist for conventional object-oriented software development. This paper presents NUMAP, a development process for BDI multi-agent systems that covers the entire software development lifecycle, from requirements analysis to implementation and testing.


Agent-Oriented Software Engineering Design Processes Documentation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Nwana, H.S., Ndumu, D.T., Lee, L.C., Collis, J.C.: ZEUS: A Toolkit for Building Distributed Multi-Agent Systems. Applied Artificial Intelligence 13, 129–186 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wooldridge, M., Jennings, N.R., Kinny, D.: The Gaia Methodology for Agent-Oriented Analysis and Design. Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems 3, 285–312 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Rao, A.S., Georgeff, M.P.: BDI-agents: from theory to practice. In: Proceedings of the First Intl. Conference on Multiagent Systems (1995)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Padgham, L., Winikoff, M.: Developing Intelligent Agent Systems: A Practical Guide. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2004)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bresciani, P., Perini, A., Giorgini, P., Giunchiglia, F.: Tropos: An Agent-Oriented Software Development Methodology. Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Sytems 8, 203–236 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Giunchiglia, F., Mylopoulos, J., Perini, A.: The Tropos Software Development Methodology: Processes, Models and Diagrams. In: Giunchiglia, F., Odell, J.J., Weiss, G. (eds.) AOSE 2002. LNCS, vol. 2585, pp. 162–173. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Zambonelli, F., Jennings, N.R., Wooldridge, M.: Developing Multiagent Systems: The Gaia Methodology. ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology 12, 317–370 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Henderson-Sellers, B.: Creating a Comprehensive Agent-Oriented Methodology. In: Henderson-Sellers, B., Giorgini, P. (eds.) Agent-Oriented Methodologies, pp. 368–386. Idea Group Publishing, Hershey, PA (2005)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Henderson-Sellers, B., Giorgini, P., Bresciani, P.: Enhancing Agent OPEN with concepts used in the Tropos methodology. In: Omicini, A., Petta, P., Pitt, J. (eds.) ESAW 2003. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 3071, Springer, Heidelberg (2004)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Anton, A.I.: Goal-Based Requirements Analysis. In: ICRE 1996, IEEE, Los Alamitos (1996)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Howden, N., Ronnquist, R., Hodgson, A., Lucas, A.: JACK Intelligent Agents – Summary of an Agent Infrastructure. In: The 5th International Conference on Autonomous Agents (2001)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Pokahr, A., Braubach, L., Lamersdorf, W.: Jadex: Implementing a BDI-Infrastructure for JADE Agents. EXP - In Search of Innovation 3, 76–85 (2003)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Daniels, M.: Integrating Simulation Technologies With Swarm. In: Macal, C.M., Sallach, D. (eds.) Workshop on Agent Simulation: Applications, Models and Tools, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois (2000)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    FIPA: FIPA Communicative Act Library Specification (2002) Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    FIPA: FIPA Request Interaction Protocol Specification (2002) Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    FIPA: FIPA Query Interaction Protocol Specification (2002) Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    FIPA: FIPA Contract Net Interaction Protocol Specification (2002) Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    RMIT Intelligent Agents Group: Prometheus Design Tool (2007),
  19. 19.
    Dignum, V., Weigand, H.: Toward an Organization-Oriented Design Methodology for Agent Societies. In: Plekhanova, V. (ed.) Intelligent Agent Software Engineering, pp. 191–212. Idea Group (2003)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aaron Hector
    • 1
  • Frans Henskens
    • 1
  • Michael Hannaford
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Newcastle, University DriveCallaghanAustralia

Personalised recommendations