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An Architecture-Centric Approach for Software Engineering with Situated Multiagent Systems PhD Defense Danny Weyns Katholieke Universiteit Leuven October 11, 2006. Supervisors Tom Holvoet & Pierre Verbaeten. A Challenging Application. Three Important Problem Characteristics.

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Supervisors tom holvoet pierre verbaeten

An Architecture-Centric Approach for Software Engineering with Situated Multiagent SystemsPhD Defense Danny WeynsKatholieke Universiteit LeuvenOctober 11, 2006

Supervisors

Tom Holvoet & Pierre Verbaeten


A Challenging Application with Situated Multiagent Systems


Three important problem characteristics
Three Important with Situated Multiagent SystemsProblem Characteristics

  • Dynamic and changing operating conditions

  • Inherent distribution of resources, locality of activity

  • Stakeholders have various – possiblyconflicting – quality goals


Engineering such software systems
Engineering such Software Systems with Situated Multiagent Systems

Structure of the software

  • Dynamic and changing operating conditions

  • Inherent distribution of resources, locality of activity

  • Stakeholders have various – possiblyconflicting – quality goals


Engineering such software systems1
Engineering such Software Systems with Situated Multiagent Systems

Structure of the software

  • Dynamic and changing operating conditions

  • Inherent distribution of resources, locality of activity

  • Stakeholders have various – possiblyconflicting – quality goals

Approach to engineer software


Structure of the software

Self-management: deal with dynamism and change autonomously with Situated Multiagent Systems

Decentralized control: system functionality results from cooperative subsystems

Situated Multiagent Systems

Structure of the Software

  • Dynamic and changing operating conditions

  • Inherent distribution of resources, locality of activity


Approach to engineer software

Compel stakeholders to deal explicitly with (conflicting) quality goals

Architecture-Centric Software Engineering

Approach to Engineer Software

  • Stakeholders have various – possibly conflicting – quality goals

Architecture-Centric Software Development


Contribution of this research
Contribution of this Research quality goals

Problem characteristics:

  • Dynamism andchange

  • Locality of activity

  • (Conflicting) qualitygoals

Engineering such systems

Architecture-centric software engineering

Situated multiagent systems

Expertise

Reference architecture for situated multiagent systems


Outline
Outline quality goals

  • Architecture-Centric Software Engineering

    • Development Life-Cycle

    • Role of Reference Architecture

  • Reference Architecture for Situated Multiagent Systems

  • Conclusions


Architecture centric software engineering development life cycle
Architecture-Centric Software Engineering quality goalsDevelopment Life Cycle


Architecture centric software engineering role of reference architecture
Architecture-Centric Software Engineering quality goalsRole of Reference Architecture

Architectural Design

Design Software Architecture

Apply proven architectural approaches to achieve main quality requirements

Reference Architecture

“Best of best practices”

Integrated set of architectural patterns

Blueprint to develop new software architectures for systems with similar requirements


Outline1
Outline quality goals

  • Architecture-Centric Software Engineering

  • Reference Architecture for Situated Multiagent Systems

    • Background

    • Environment as a First-Class Design Abstraction

    • Advanced Mechanisms for Adaptability

  • Conclusions


Reference architecture background
Reference Architecture quality goalsBackground

  • Target domain

    • Dynamism and change

    • Locality of activity

    • Important quality goals: flexibility and openness

  • Development process

    • Research and development of various applications

    • Derived common functions and structures = building blocks of the reference architecture


Reference architecture background1
Reference Architecture quality goalsBackground

Some of the applications


Outline2
Outline quality goals

  • Architecture-Centric Software Engineering

  • Reference Architecture for Situated Multiagent Systems

    • Background

    • Environment as a First-Class Design Abstraction

    • Advanced Mechanisms for Adaptability

  • Conclusions


Reference architecture environment as a first class design abstraction
Reference Architecture quality goalsEnvironment as a First-Class Design Abstraction

Common perspective on a multiagent system

Agents

Environment = Deployment Context


Reference architecture environment as a first class design abstraction1
Reference Architecture quality goalsEnvironment as a First-Class Design Abstraction

Common perspective on a multiagent system

Agents

  • Given

  • - Part of the world where problem has to be solved

  • Resources external to the system

Deployment Context

Environment


Reference architecture environment as a first class design abstraction2
Reference Architecture quality goalsEnvironment as a First-Class Design Abstraction

Application environment as a design abstraction

Agents

Application Environment

Environment

Deployment Context


Reference architecture environment as a first class design abstraction3
Reference Architecture quality goalsEnvironment as a First-Class Design Abstraction

Agents

  • Part to be designed

  • - Abstraction of deployment context

  • Interaction mediation

Application Environment

Environment

  • Given

  • - Part of the world where problem has to be solved

  • Resources external to the system

Deployment Context


Reference architecture application environment
Reference Architecture: quality goalsApplication Environment


Situated multiagent systems exploiting the environment an example

Transport agent (logically) quality goals

AGV agent

Transport agent (physically)

Situated Multiagent SystemsExploiting the Environment: An Example


Situated multiagent systems exploiting the environment an example1
Situated Multiagent Systems quality goalsExploiting the Environment: An Example


Situated multiagent systems exploiting the environment an example2
Situated Multiagent Systems quality goalsExploiting the Environment: An Example


Situated multiagent systems exploiting the environment an example3
Situated Multiagent Systems quality goalsExploiting the Environment: An Example


Reference architecture exploiting the environment an example
Reference Architecture quality goalsExploiting the environment: an example

  • Coordination in AGV transportation system

    • Assignment of tasks

    • Collision avoidance

    • Charging batteries

  • How to coordinate agents?

    • “Classic approach”: agents coordinate by exchanging messages

    • Exploit the environment


Reference architecture exploiting the environment an example1
Reference Architecture quality goalsExploiting the Environment: An Example

Result: full complexity in the agents


Reference architecture exploiting the environment an example2
Reference Architecture quality goalsExploiting the environment: an example

  • Exploit the environment to coordinate

  • However

    • Deployment context restricts how agents can exploit the environment

  • We introduced an application environment

    • Enables agents to coordinate through the environment


Exploiting the environment an example
Exploiting the Environment: An Example quality goals

Application environment in the AGV transportation system


Exploiting the environment an example1
Exploiting the Environment: An Example quality goals

Collision Avoidance


Reference architecture exploiting the environment an example3
Reference Architecture quality goalsExploiting the environment: an example

  • Advantages of exploiting the environment to coordinate agents (1)

    • Avoid complex agents by splitting up responsibilities

      • Agents are responsible for projecting/removing hulls

      • Application environment is responsible for determining which AGV can drive on


Reference architecture exploiting the environment an example4
Reference Architecture quality goalsExploiting the environment: an example

  • Advantages of exploiting the environment to coordinate agents (2)

    • Flexibility and openness

      • AGVs can dynamically remove hull and select alternative route

      • Application environment takes into account AGVs that enter/leave collision range


Outline3
Outline quality goals

  • Architecture-Centric Software Engineering

  • Reference Architecture for Situated Multiagent Systems

    • Background

    • Environment as a First-Class Design Abstraction

    • Advanced Mechanisms for Adaptability

  • Conclusions


Reference architecture advanced mechanisms for adaptability
Reference Architecture quality goalsAdvanced Mechanisms for Adaptability

  • We have developed an integrated architecture for situated agents

  • Integrates set of advanced mechanisms for adaptability

    • Selective perception

    • Protocol-based communication

    • Roles and situated commitments


Reference architecture advanced mechanisms for adaptability1
Reference Architecture quality goalsAdvanced Mechanisms for Adaptability


Reference architecture advanced mechanism for adaptability

Roles and situated commitments quality goals

Endow situated agents with abilities for explicit social interaction

Role

Coherent part of functionality in context of an organization

Situated Commitment

Engagement to give preference to the actions in a particular role

Driven by conditions in the environment in which the agents are situated

Reference ArchitectureAdvanced Mechanism for Adaptability


Reference architecture roles and situated commitments
Reference Architecture quality goalsRoles and Situated Commitments


Reference architecture roles and situated commitments1
Reference Architecture quality goalsRoles and Situated Commitments


Reference architecture roles and situated commitments2
Reference Architecture quality goalsRoles and Situated Commitments


Reference architecture roles and situated commitments3
Reference Architecture quality goalsRoles and Situated Commitments


Reference architecture roles and situated commitments4
Reference Architecture quality goalsRoles and Situated Commitments


Reference architecture roles and situated commitments5
Reference Architecture quality goalsRoles and Situated Commitments


Reference architecture roles and situated commitments6

Building blocks for social organization quality goals

Enable agents to set up collaborations

Social interaction is driven by the context in which agents are situated

Agents flexibly adapt their behavior with changing circumstances in the environment

Reference ArchitectureRoles and Situated Commitments


Outline4
Outline quality goals

  • Architecture-Centric Software Engineering

  • Reference Architecture for Situated Multiagent Systems

  • Conclusions

    • Summary of Contributions

    • Lessons Learned for Applying Agents in Industry

    • Future Work


Contributions

Reference architecture for situated multiagent systems quality goals

Contributions

Problem characteristics:

  • Dynamism andchange

  • Locality of activity

  • Qualitygoals (flexibility, openness)

  • Promising perspective on software engineering with multiagent systems

Architecture-centric software engineering

Additional architectural approaches

Software Architecture


Contributions1
Contributions quality goals

  • Reference architecture for situated multiagent systems

    • Environment as first-class design abstraction

    • Set of advanced mechanisms for adaptability

      • Selective perception

      • Roles and situated commitments

      • Protocol-based communication


Lessons learned
Lessons Learned quality goals

  • Motivations to choose for a multiagent system

    • Problem characteristics

    • Quality requirements

  • Integration with legacy

  • Gradual integration

  • Evaluation

    • Software architecture for qualities

    • Simulation for functionality


Future research
Future Research quality goals

  • Disciplined approach for architectural design with a reference architecture

  • Connection software architecture and multiagent systems

    • Robustness, scalability

    • Patterns for distribution

    • Crosscutting concerns

    • Scientific foundation for verifying global behavior


Closing reflection

A key for industrial adoption of multiagent systems quality goals

Closing Reflection

  • Situated agency has been studied and applied for two decades

  • Reference architecture reifies our expertise that is founded on rich tradition

  • Reference architecture demonstrates how MAS can be integrated with mainstream software engineering practice


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