Standards for Agent-based Technologies - Artificial Intelligence

Another important issue is standardisation. If we are to develop autonomous agents with the ability to communicate with each other, for example, then it is important to agree to a set of standards on how that communication should take place. FIPA (for the Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents) is an IEEE Computer Society standards organization concerned with agent-based technology and its interoperability with other technologies (FIPA, 2008). FIPA specifications provide a collection of standards whose purpose is to promote the interoperation of heterogeneous agents and the services they represent. In 2002, FIPA completed standardising a subset of 25 of all of its specifications.These are listed in Table below.The subset as well as the complete set of specifications covers various categories such as: agent communication; agent transport; agent management; abstract architecture; and applications.

Table FIPA specifications for heterogeneous and interacting agents and agent-based systems.

FIPA specifications for heterogeneous and interacting agents and agent-based systems

The core FIPA specifications concern agent communication that defines a language called ACL (for Agent Communication Language).It deals with communications messages, protocols for exchanging the messages between agents,and representations for the message content.

The specifications are well suited to agent applications where communication is important and increasingly, many of the agent architectures and frameworks are now becoming FIPA compliant.Communication is only one aspect of intelligence,however,and the specifications overlook important agent issues such as embodiment and situatedness – traits that have been identified in Chapter (and expanded upon in Chapter) as important for intelligence.For example, it is surprising that there is no separate category in the specifications for environments,and how the agents are able to sense and move around within them.Therefore these specifications are of less relevance to applications where believable agent interaction with the environment is crucial – such as in computer animation, computer gaming and environmental simulation and modeling.

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