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Agents ... . a message from the Agents Working Group www.obs.com/isig/agents.html. An agent is. an entity that acts typically on behalf of an owner not an object but can be built from objects already busy with its own agenda invoking a method of an agent makes no sense

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agents
Agents ...

a message from the Agents Working Group

www.obs.com/isig/agents.html

an agent is
An agent is...
  • an entity that acts
    • typically on behalf of an owner
  • not an object
    • but can be built from objects
  • already busy with its own agenda
    • invoking a method of an agent makes no sense
  • a vehicle for capturing intention
    • allowing computers take some of the load out of life
applications
Applications
  • Shopping bots, market making
  • Process monitoring, control
  • Business management, workflow
    • the active document that makes sure it is fulfilled
  • Contact management
    • my friend is in the neighborhood,...
  • Brokering higher-order services
    • A holiday is a package of flights + hotel room +...
agents and objects
Agents and objects
  • Depends on the formalism used to define each
    • Are Java objects agents?
    • Are Java threads agents?
  • Objects are typically passive
    • the server in the client-server relationship
    • method invocation is procedure call
  • Agents are typically active
    • the client in the client-server relationship
    • both message send AND message receive are active steps performed by the agent
agents relate to each other
Agents relate to each other...
  • by exchanging messages
    • the style is closer to inter-process email than RMI
  • in terms of a communications language
    • typically has a logical semantics
  • by sharing explicitly referenced common ontologies
    • ontologies themselves need not be explicit
agents need
Agents need...
  • a secure persistent global identity
    • to reason across extended interactions
    • to allow people to transact business via agents
  • a method for exchanging messages
    • message receipt is an action performed by the agent
    • agents may not always be available
    • not the same as IIOP
      • closer to event notification
  • a method for discovering each other
agents and omg
Agents and OMG
  • CORBA represents an opportunity
    • deploying scalable agent applications
  • Many agent system will be built on CORBA
  • Current services do not quite meet our needs
  • Contributions:
    • UML for agents
    • Ontology
    • Security
the agents working group
The Agents Working Group
  • Parents are Internet SIG and EC DTF
  • 9 meetings
  • A lot of discussion about what agents are
  • A lot of discussion about how to move forward
  • Green paper about agent technology
  • Strong relationship with FIPA (Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents www.fipa.org)
possible rfp roadmap
Possible RFP roadmap
  • Agent identity
  • Reliable aMail (agent equiv of e-mail) service
  • Agent discovery service
  • Agent Communication Language
  • Content language
  • Ontology
  • Agent trust model
  • NO mobility
future directions
Future directions
  • Upgrade to Agent Platform SIG (APSIG)
  • Flesh out framework for RFPs
    • A White Paper
  • Education
    • Within the APSIG
    • Presentation and outreach to other OMG groups
    • Other non-OMG groups
  • Forum for agent issues