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Externalisation and Internalization: A New Perspective on Agent Modularisation in Multi-Agent Systems Programming

Alessandro Ricci, Michele Piunti, Mirko Viroli
Agent modularisation is a main issue in agent and multi-agent system programming. Existing solutions typically propose some kinds of constructs such as capabilities to group and encapsulate in well-defined modules inside the agent different kinds of agent features, that depend on the architecture or model adopted?examples are goals, beliefs, intentions, skills. In this paper we introduce a further perspective, which can be considered complimentary to existing approaches, which accounts for externalizing some of such functionalities into the computational environment where agents are (logically) situated. In this perspective, agent modules are realised as suitably designed artifacts that agents can dynamically exploit as external tools to enhance their action repertoire and, more generally, their capability to execute tasks. Then, to let agent (and agent programmers) exploit such capabilities abstracting from the low-level mechanics of artifact management and use, we exploit the dual notion of internalization, which consists in dynamically consulting and automatically embedding high-level usage protocols described in artifact manuals as agent plans. The idea is discussed providing some practical examples of use, based on CArtAgO as technology for programming artifacts and Jason agent platform to program the agents.
Keywords: Agents, Artifacts, Cognitive, Capabilities, Modularisation, Externalisation
Proceedings of MALLOW 2009 federated workshops: LAnguages, methodologies and Development tools for multi-agent systemS (LADS 2009), September 2009.
Mehdi Dastani, Amal El Fallah Seghrouchni, João Leite, Paolo Torroni (a cura di)
@inproceedings{RPV-LADS09,
	booktitle = {Proceedings of MALLOW 2009 federated workshops: LAnguages, methodologies and Development tools for multi-agent systemS (LADS 2009)},
	author = {Ricci, Alessandro and Piunti, Michele and Viroli, Mirko },
	title = {Externalisation and Internalization: A New Perspective on Agent Modularisation in Multi-Agent Systems Programming},
	year = 2009,
	abstract = {Agent modularisation is a main issue in agent and 
multi-agent system programming. Existing solutions typically 
propose some kinds of constructs such as capabilities to 
group and encapsulate in well-defined modules inside the agent 
different kinds of agent features, that depend on the architecture 
or model adopted?examples are goals, beliefs, intentions, skills. 
In this paper we introduce a further perspective, which can 
be considered complimentary to existing approaches, which 
accounts for externalizing some of such functionalities into the 
computational environment where agents are (logically) situated. 
In this perspective, agent modules are realised as suitably 
designed artifacts that agents can dynamically exploit as external 
tools to enhance their action repertoire and, more generally,
 their capability to execute tasks. Then, to let agent (and 
agent programmers) exploit such capabilities abstracting from 
the low-level mechanics of artifact management and use, we 
exploit the dual notion of internalization, which consists in 
dynamically consulting and automatically embedding high-level 
usage protocols described in artifact manuals as agent plans. The 
idea is discussed providing some practical examples of use, based 
on CArtAgO as technology for programming artifacts and Jason 
agent platform to program the agents.},
	keywords = {Agents, Artifacts, Cognitive, Capabilities, Modularisation, Externalisation},
	status = {Published},
	venue = {--},
	editor = {Dastani, Mehdi and  Seghrouchni, Amal El Fallah and Leite, João and  Torroni, Paolo},
	month = {September}}