|The agentTool Project|
This site is archived for historical purposes only. We no longer support agentTool 1 and agentTool 2. Please visit the agentTool III homepage.
agentTool is a Java-based graphical development environment to help users analyze, design, and implement multiagent systems. It is designed to support the Multiagent Systems Engineering (MaSE) methodology. The system designer defines high-level system behavior graphically using the Multiagent Systems Engineering methodology. The system design defines the types of agents in the system as well as the possible communications that may take place between agents. This system-level specification is then refined for each type of agent in the system. To refine an agent, the designer either selects or creates an agent architecture and then provides detailed behavioral specification for each component in the agent architecture.
Once the system has been completely specified, the designer generates the code for the agent system. It is at this point that the designer actually defines the underlying framework and any implementation specific communication and security protocols. These are automatically built into the code during system synthesis. To take advantage of pre-existing software components, agentTool also uses a library of AI components. Each component has a formal definition which allows an agentTool designer to determine if the component meets the requirements of the specified agent. In this way agentTool only has to synthesize code for components that are not already implementable via component reuse.
agentTool was developed using Java 1.3 and runs best on Windows platform, although it has been run successfully on other Java compatible platforms.
Long Term Objectives
The long term objective of this research is to show that by using automated software synthesis techniques, intelligent agents can be developed that implement security and communication protocols in a provably correct manner. This research will also provide a mechanism to abstract the precise security and communication protocols so that the agent developer will not have to worry about them when specifying agent behavior. Also, assuming multiple security and communication protocols exist, an agent whose behavior is specified in such a system would be able to be generated using various combinations of security and communication requirements.
Our approach is to apply the general knowledge-based software synthesis approach discussed above to the intelligent agent domain. We have gained significant experience over the last few years attempting to apply knowledge-based synthesis in a domain-independent manner. Application of this knowledge to the intelligent agent domain will stress previously developed theories and necessitate the creation of new concepts and tools to solve domain-unique problems.
Questions to be Explored:
We will show that intelligent agents can be semi-automatically synthesized from behavioral specifications that incorporate required communication and security protocols and that these agents can be successfully integrated into intelligent agent applications.
This research is sponsored by AFOSR.