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Journal of Logic and Computation

Volume 12, Issue 3, June 2002: pp. 413-442

Engineering Executable Agents using Multi-context Systems

Jordi Sabater1, Carles Sierra1, Simon Parsons2 and Nicholas R. Jennings3

1IIIA - Artificial Intelligence Research Institute, CSIC - Spanish Council for Scientific Research, Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain. E-mail: {jsabater,sierra}@iiia.csic.es
2Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool, Chadwick Building, Liverpool L69 7ZF, UK. E-mail: S.D.Parsons@csc.liv.ac.uk
3Department of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK. E-mail: nrj@ecs.soton.ac.uk

In the area of agent-based computing there are many proposals for specific system architectures, and a number of proposals for general approaches to building agents. As yet, however, there are comparatively few attempts to relate these together, and even fewer attempts to provide methodologies which relate designs to architectures and then to executable agents. This paper provides a first attempt to address this shortcoming. We propose a general method of specifying logic-based agents, which is based on the use of multi-context systems, and give examples of its use. The resulting specifications can be directly executed, and we discuss an implementation which makes this direct execution possible.

Keywords: Agent-based computing; multi-context systems; software engineering; executable specifications

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