Designing Agent-Oriented Systems by Analysing Agent Interactions

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Simon Miles, Mike Joy, Michael Luck
Paolo Ciancarini, Michael J. Wooldridge (eds.)
Agent-Oriented Software Engineering, pages 171-184
Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1957

We propose a preliminary methodology for agent-oriented software engineering based on the idea of agent interaction analysis. This approach uses interactions between undetermined agents as the primary component of analysis and design. Agents as a basis for software engineering are useful because they provide a powerful and intuitive abstraction which can increase the comprehensiblity of a complex design. The paper describes a process by which the designer can derive the interactions that can occur in a system satisfying the given requirements and use them to design the structure of an agent-based system, including the identification of the agents themselves. We suggest that this approach has the flexibility necessary to provide agent-oriented designs for open and complex applications, and has value for future maintenance and extension of these systems.