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IMPACT: Future Directions (years 3 and 4). V.S. Subrahmanian University of Maryland. 1. Research Directions. “Smart” Agent Development : Implementing Temporal and Uncertain Agent Reasoning Agent Security Toolkit Spatial Agent Programs Specialized agent activities: planning, learning .

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Impact future directions years 3 and 4

IMPACT: Future Directions(years 3 and 4)

V.S. Subrahmanian

University of Maryland


Research directions
Research Directions

  • “Smart” Agent Development:

    • Implementing Temporal and Uncertain Agent Reasoning

    • Agent Security Toolkit

    • Spatial Agent Programs

    • Specialized agent activities: planning, learning .

  • MultiAgent Development Environment (MADE)

    • How can multiple agents developed in AgentDE work together?

    • How can such “working together” be configured within IMPACT?

    • Study interaction protocols and properties of multiagent applics.

  • Applications:

    • Full agentization of CIP Alert Application

    • Full-fledged logistics application

    • Full fledged E-store application

Implementing temporal and uncertain agent reasoning


In year 2, we proposed temporal agent programs (TAPs), and probabilistic agent programs (PAPs).

Developed a semantics for them and developed algorithms to compute TAPs.


Extend AgentDE to handle temporal agent programs.

Implement TAP status set computation algorithms.

Develop probabilistic status set computation algorithms and prove correctness theorems.

Extend AgentDE to handle probabilistic agent programs.

Implement PAP status set computation algorithms.

Implementing Temporal and Uncertain Agent Reasoning

Agent security toolkit
Agent Security Toolkit

  • In year 2, we proposed a theoretical framework for agents to

    • articulate their security requirements and

    • “protect” themselves from security violations.

  • AgentDE will include an Agent Security Toolkit (AST).

  • AST will contain the following capabilities:

    • agent approximation methods (how does agent A approximate agent B and update its approximation?)

    • agent security specification programs (what does agent A want to protect from an arbitrary agent B?)

    • history logging

    • coupling agent programs and security structures.

    • security preservation algorithms

Spatial agent programs
Spatial Agent Programs

  • Agents must have the ability to reason about space-time.

  • We plan to develop the notion of a spatio-temporal agent program (STAP).

    • Syntax of STAPs

    • Formal semantics of STAPs, extending TAPs

    • Coupling STAP implementations to scalable spatial data structures.

    • Developing STAP-feasible status set computation algorithms and proving their correctness.

    • Implementing STAPs as an extension of the AgentDE.

Planning agents

Many (but not all) agents need to plan.

Planning capabilities can be incorporated within agents in many ways:

Planning can be viewed as an IMPACT action.

IMPACT action rule heads can be extended to include:

hierarchical task networks in rule heads instead of single actions.

Sets of actions with attached temporal constraints.

We plan to:

develop a semantics for agent programs with these two modes of planning

study the complexity and expressive power of these two alternatives

develop implementation methods and conducted experiments

Build applications of multiagent planning in the areas of:

noncombatant evacuation ops

logistics planning

Planning agents

Multiagent development environment made

AgentDE allows agent developers to build agents that interact with other agents.

However, when a set of interacting agents are defined, one by one, it is difficult to evaluate how this multiagent application will behave over time.

MultiAgentDE will contain the theory and algorithms needed by agent developers to ensure that their multiagent application preserves a variety of important application specific conditions.


Develop a language to query a multiagent application built in IMPACT.

Querying over alternative “future” worlds

Evaluation of integrity constraints over all possible futures.

Develop techniques to implement this language.

Implement this language, and define tools to allow agent developers to interact with their application.

MultiAgent Development Environment (MADE)

Impact agent library
IMPACT Agent Library interact with other agents.

  • Consists of a set of COTS-tools based agents that different (more sophisticated) civilian and military applications may want to extend.

  • “Database” Agents: Oracle, Access, ObjectStore.

  • Spreadsheet Agents: Excel.

  • “Media” Agents: Image, Video, Free text.

  • Language Agents: Machine translation agents.

  • Planning Agents: SHOP Hierarchical Task Network Agents.

  • GIS and Map Management Agents.

  • Web Topic Agents: Weather, Map, etc.

Applications agent based combat information processor abcip
Applications: Agent-based Combat interact with other agents.Information Processor (AbCIP)

  • CIP is currently a set of servers.

  • We propose to make each of these servers into an IMPACT Agent.

  • We propose to develop new agents providing a wide variety of “active” CIP-monitoring and analysis services.

    • Users register conditions of interest.

    • Users describe actions to be taken when the conditions of interest satisfy some conditions.

  • The CIP Multiagent application will include a mix of CIP-agents, GIS agents, database agents, and planning agents.

Preliminary work Started. Demo in Room 2120

Applications multi agent logistics system mals
Applications: Multi Agent interact with other agents.Logistics System (MALS)

  • Current IMPACT agents have the ability to access large scale logistics database and trigger actions.

  • MALS will support the “track inventory status => create plan for resupply => execute plan => track plan” cycle.

  • MALS will include a mix of:

    • Current logistics inventory agents

    • Excel agents

    • Financial tracking and ordering agents

    • Planning agents

    • GIS Agents


AgentDE 1.0 is near-ready for the deployment of single and multiagent applications.

We expect to provide “beta” versions of AgentDE 1.0 (without documentation) for testing to ARL in Sep. 1999 and with documentation in Nov. 1999.

AgentDE 2.0 => Temporal/Spatial

AgentDE 3.0 => Probabilistic, planning.

AgentDE 4.0 => Security

Multiagent Development Environment (MADE)

Query Language






Electronic store