Title: Motivation for a new formal framework for agent-oriented software engineering

Authors: R. Ahmad, S. Rahimi

Addresses: Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Manchester College, USA. ' Department of Computer Science, Southern Illinois University, USA

Abstract: Agent-Oriented Software Engineering (AOSE) poses several challenges to the traditional theory and practice of software engineering with the emergence of a variety of theories and tools proposed to deal with this challenge. Agent frameworks with formal foundations have an important role to play in this scenario by allowing analysis based on a mathematical model. It is our contention that the available frameworks and languages do not fulfil all aspects of agent-based system analysis and development. We perform a survey of the available formal theories and tools for Multi-Agent Systems (MAS) and derive a strong motivation for a new formal framework to support AOSE. Several aspects of agent behaviour in this framework have been inspired by the popular Belief-Desire-Intention (BDI) model of cognitive agents. The new framework introduced concisely in the second half tackles the issues raised in the first half, including those regarding mobility, proactive behaviour, organisation and inter-agent communication.

Keywords: intelligent agents; multi-agent systems; MAS; formal methods; agent-oriented software engineering; AOSE; agent-based systems; cognitive agents; agent behaviour.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAOSE.2009.023639

International Journal of Agent-Oriented Software Engineering, 2009 Vol.3 No.2/3, pp.252 - 276

Received: 10 Sep 2008
Accepted: 21 Oct 2008

Published online: 04 Mar 2009 *

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