Semantics and Conversations for an Agent Communication Language

Yannis Labrou, Tim Finin

Readings in Agents, pages 235–242
Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc., San Francisco, CA, USA
Michael N. Huhns, Munindar P. Singh (eds.)

We address the issues of semantics and conversations for agent communication languages and the Knowledge Query Manipulation Language (KQML) in particular. Based on ideas from speech act theory, we present a semantic description for KQML that associates "cognitive " states of the agent with the use of the language's primitives (performatives). We have used this approach to describe the semantics for the whole set of reserved KQML performatives. Building on the semantics, we devise the conversation policies, i.e., a formal description of how KQML performatives may be combined into KQML exchanges (conversations), using a Definite Clause Grammar. Our research offers methods for a speech act theory-based semantic description of a language of communication acts and for the specification of the protocols associated with these acts. Languages of communication acts address the issue of communication among software applications at a level of abstraction that is useful to the emerging software agents paradigm.

Address = {San Francisco, CA, USA},
Author = {Labrou, Yannis and Finin, Tim},
Booktitle = {Readings in Agents},
Editor = {Huhns, Michael N. and Singh, Munindar P.},
Isbn = {1-55860-495-2},
Pages = {235--242},
Publisher = {Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc.},
Title = {Semantics and Conversations for an Agent Communication Language},
Url = {},
Year = 1997


— authors

Yannis Labrou, Tim Finin

— editors

Michael N. Huhns, Munindar P. Singh

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book chapter


— volume

Readings in Agents

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original page


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