Artifacts in the A&A Meta-Model for Multi-Agent Systems

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Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems 17(3), pages 432–456
December 2008

In this article we focus on the notion of artifact for agents in MAS (multi-agent systems) as a basis for a new meta-model promoting the modelling and engineering of agent societies and MAS environment as first-class entities. Its conceptual foundations lay upon theories and results coming from computational sciences as well as from organisational and cognitive sciences, psychology, CSCW, anthropology and ethology. In the resulting A&A (agents & artifacts) meta-model, agents are the (pro-)active entities in charge of the goals/tasks that altogether build up the whole MAS behaviour, whereas artifacts are the reactive entities providing the services and functions that make individual agents work together in a MAS, and that shape agent environment according to the MAS needs.

<div>After presenting the scientific background, we define the notions of artifact in the A&A meta-model, discuss how it affects the notion of intelligence in MAS, and show its application to a number of agent-related research fields.</div>

keywordsArtifact · A&A meta-model · MAS environment · Activity theory · Distributed cognition · Coordination · Agent intelligence · Agent-oriented software engineering (AOSE) · MAS infrastructure
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journal or series
book Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (J.AAMAS)
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funding project
wrenchAgentLink III — A Coordination Network for Agent-based Computing (01/01/2004–31/01/2006)