Agent-Oriented Modelling

Start Date: 2009-09-01

End Date: 2009-09-01

Location: Torino

Country: Italy

Presenter: Kuldar Taveter

Training School: EASSS2009


A transition from client-server computing to peer-to-peer computing. Under the new paradigm, all the nodes of the network are equal and each node can function both as a server or client. Interactions between nodes rely on various services, such as directory services and communication services. We thus understand peer-to-peer computing more broadly than file sharing systems like Napster or VoIP applications like Skype. Intelligent agents and multi-agent systems are effectively rooted in the peer-to-peer paradigm.
When we also consider humans participating in peer-to-peer networks, we are faced with a complex distributed environment for which modern software applications must be written. We need a way for conceptualizing and modelling distributed applications and their environments neutrally with respect to specific software platforms and architectures.
The challenges in creating software for modern complex and distributed computing environments are time-sensitivity, uncertainty, unpredictability, and openness. It is a problem how to design systems that work effectively in the modern environment, where computing is pervasive, people interact with technology existing in a variety of networks, and under a range of policies and constraints imposed by the institutions and social structures that we live in. To design systems for the distributed world, we first need to conceptualise and model their complicated environment, where many parts, both social and technical, interact. The key concepts we use for this purpose are agents and socio-technical systems. An agent is suitable as a central modelling abstraction for representing distributed interconnected nodes of the modern world. System encompasses a combination of people and computers, hardware and software.
The novelty of the approach to be presented in the tutorial is that it explains the way in which increasingly distributed socio-technical systems and their environments can be naturally modelled and designed.