The goal of ModelAge is to establish a common formal model
of the concept of agent
usable across a wide number of fields of Information Technology, where its
importance is now appearing:
- Requirements Engineering
- Organizational Models
- Software Design
- Artificial Intelligence: Specially, Distributed Artificial Intelligence
- Data Bases: Federative Databases
In each of these fields, the key facets of an agent appear to be:
- goals: each agent is trying to achieve through cooperation a precise objective
under given constraints.
- beliefs: agents have an internal, imperfect representation of the world (including the state of other agents), on which their decisions are based.
- behaviours: agents act, communicate and perceive, showing thus an external behaviour
that often obeys normative rules.
- heterogeneity: agents may be software, hardware systems, individual humans or human organizations.
The collaborations already undertaken between members of ModelAge
make us believe
that a common model
may be found.
To ensure precision, the model will be formal
, i.e. mathematically described.
Examples of cross-fertilisations already explored by members of ModelAge
include the application of deontic logics, originally
designed to formalise human organisations, to software specification;
the introduction of the notion of behaviour and goals into data base theory;
the use of belief logics (also originally modelling humans)
in concurrent systems; the introduction of behaviour in software specification.
The many formalisms used in each
field could then be grounded
in this common semantic framework,
allowing an integrated multi-formalism approach.