An agent-based architecture for software tool coordination
Cranefield, Stephen; Purvis, Martin
This paper presents a practical multi-agent architecture for assisting users to coordinate the use of both special and general purpose software tools for performing tasks in a given problem domain. The architecture is open and extensible being based on the techniques of agent-based software interoperability (ABSI), where each tool is encapsulated by a KQML-speaking agent. The work reported here adds additional facilities for the user to describe the problem domain, the tasks that are commonly performed in that domain and the ways in which various software tools are commonly used by the user. Together, these features provide the computer with a degree of autonomy in the user's problem domain in order to help the user achieve tasks through the coordinated use of disparate software tools. This research focuses on the representational and planning capabilities required to extend the existing benefits of the ABSI architecture to include domain-level problem-solving skills. In particular, the paper proposes a number of standard ontologies that are required for this type of problem, and discusses a number of issues related to planning the coordinated use of agent-encapsulated tools.
Publisher: University of Otago
Series number: 96/24
Research Type: Discussion Paper