Coordination Technologies for Internet Agents

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Franco Zambonelli, Andrea Omicini

Internet applications are typically made of a multiplicity of autonomous, network-aware and mobile entities (Internet agents), which are of an intrinsic interactive nature. In this context, the definition of appropriate coordination models, languages and architectures is a key issue for the effective design and development of multi-agent Internet applications. The first part of the tutorial sketches the main issues related to Internet agent interactions, and surveys the proposals of well-known Internet agent systems. The second part of the tutorial introduces the concept of coordination model, and shows that a coordination model may represent a powerful framework for the design and development on multi-agent Internet applications. The third part of the tutorial focuses on tuple-based coordination models and details the characteristics of several commercial and research proposals. Two application examples (cooperative information retrieval and conference management) are taken as case studies thorough the tutorial to evaluate the impact of different coordination models and architectures in application design and execution. 

The tutorial will give attendees an in-deep understanding of the problems related to interaction and coordination in Internet applications based on network-aware and mobile agents. In particular, the attendees will acquire a global view of the currently available coordination techniques and will learn how the choice of a suitable coordination model can positively impact on the design of multi-agent systems on the Internet, and can help managing the specific problems of Internet interactions.