Francisco J. Martin, Enric Plaza, Juan A. Rodríguez-Aguilar,
and Jordi Sabater
IIIA - Artificial Intelligence Research Institute
CSIC - Spanish Council for Scientific Research
Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra,Barcelona, Spain
Vox: +34-3-5809570, Fax: +34-3-5809661
In this paper we introduce an interagent as an autonomous software agent which handles (intermediates) the communication and coordination between an agent and the agent society wherein this is situated. According to our proposal, interagents constitute the sole and exclusive means through which agents within a multi-agent scenario interact. With this aim, we have developed JIM, a general-purpose interagent that provides agents with a highly versatile range of --before and during the agent's run-time-- programmable communication and coordination services. The development of JIM lies in the framework of the SMASH project. SMASH addresses the construction of multi-agent systems to tackle complex problems of distributed nature in hospital environments. Two main benefits stem from the usage of JIM: on the one hand, it permits agents to reason about both communication and coordination at a higher level of abstraction, and on the other hand, it provides a complete set of facilities that allows agent engineers to concentrate on the design of their agents' inner and social behaviour.
Keywords: Multi-Agent Systems, Interagents, Communication, Coordination