An Observation Approach to Semantics of Agents Communication Languages

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Applied Artificial Intelligence 16(9-10), pages 775–793
October-December 2002

We show how a formal framework for the observation issue in computer systems can be used for the specification of an agent behavior, abstracting away from agent inner details while focusing on its interactive behavior. This model can also be used as a specification of agent communication languages (ACLs), providing the proper abstraction level to represent the conditions causing an agent to send a message, as well as its effect on the receiving agent. In particular, this approach generalizes upon existing ACL semantics, such as FIPA ACL, that relate agent communicative acts to the agent mental state. Since the observation framework induces a more abstract architecture than other known approaches, our semantics are likely to be applicable to a wider set of agent architectures, thus better supporting standardization aims. Some application examples are shown, describing how various aspects of ACL semantics can be specified within our framework.

keywordsMultiagent Systems, Observation, Operational Semantics
journal or series
book Applied Artificial Intelligence (AAI)
funding project
wrenchNokiaMobileCoord — Coordination Technologies for Mobile Agents and Wireless Devices (01/01/2002–31/12/2002)

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