A Component-based CPNS Model for Flexible, Robust and Extensible Agent Interaction Protocols

W. Li and M. Zhang (Australia)

Keywords

Agent Interaction Protocols, ComponentBased Design, Coloured Petri Nets, Flexibility, Robustness and Extensibility

Abstract

This paper focuses on the design of component-based Coloured Petri Nets for modeling agent interaction protocols. In open multi-agent systems, we argue that the traditional approaches to model interaction protocols are limited and rigid. The uncertain and changing scenarios make the need of flexible, robust and extensible protocols necessary for agent interaction. A software component is flexible, robust and extensible in the sense of that it can be updated, enhanced or upgraded on the fly as long as its interface with other components keeps unchanged. On this basis, we bring some advantages of software components to the design of agent interaction protocols, and propose component-based Coloured Petri Nets for modeling flexibility, robustness and extensibility in open multi agent systems. Design examples of interaction protocols, FIPA Contract Net Interaction Protocol and FIPA Iterated Contract Net Protocol, are given to illustrate advantages of our approach, i.e. component-based protocols can be updated at runtime to cope with changing scenarios such as protocol structure or conversation policy on an ongoing or evolving basis.

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