From Agents to Artifacts Back and Forth: Operational and Doxastic use of Artifacts in MAS

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Matteo Baldoni, Massimo Cossentino, Flavio De Paoli, Valeria Seidita (eds.)
9th Workshop "From Objects to Agents" (WOA 2008) — Evolution of Agent Development: Methodologies, Tools, Platforms and Languages
Seneca Edizioni, Palermo, Italy
November 2008

Recent approaches in Multi-Agent Systems are focusing on providing models and methodologies for the design of environments and special purpose tools supposed to ease programming in the large and scale up growing complexities. Among others, the Agents and Artifacts (A&A) approach introduced the notion af artifact as first class abstraction providing agents with external facilities, services and coordination medium explicitely conceived for promoting their activities. In this paper we analyse A&A systems by focusing on the functional roles played by artifacts. In particular, we here investigate the function of artifacts once they are employed in the context of societies of cognitve agents, i.e. agents capable to reason about their epistemic and motivational states. In this context, a twofold kind of interaction is envisaged. On the one side, artifact rapresentational function allows agent to improve epistemic states, i.e., by representing and sharing strategic knowledge in the overall system (doxastic use). On the other side, artifacts operational function allows agents to improve the repertoire of actions, i.e., by providing additional means which can be purposively triggered by agents to achieve goals (operational use). Some of the outcomes of this approach are discussed along with test cases showing agents engaged in goal-oriented activities relying on the transmission of relevant knowledge and the operations provided by artifacts.

keywordsAgents and Artifacts Interactions, Cognitive use, Artifact functions, Agent's Perception
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page_white_powerpointFrom Agents to Artifacts Back and Forth: Operational and Doxastic Use of Artifacts in MAS (WOA 2008, 18/11/2008) — Andrea Omicini (Alessandro Ricci, Michele Piunti)