BT Technology Journal - Archive


Commemorating 25 years of publication

mPower - a component-based development framework for multi-agent systems to support business processes

J W Shepherdson, H Lee and P Mihailescu




One of the obstacles preventing the widespread adoption of multi-agent systems in industry is the difficulty of implementing heterogeneous interactions among participating agents via asynchronous messages. This difficulty arises from the need to understand how to combine elements of various content languages, ontologies, and interaction protocols in order to construct meaningful and appropriate messages. In this paper mPower, a component-based layered framework for easing the development of multi-agent systems, is described, and the facility for customising the components for reuse in similar domains is explained. The framework builds on the JADE-LEAP platform, which provides a homogeneous layer over diverse operating systems and hardware devices, and allows ubiquitous deployment of applications built on multi-agent systems both in wired and wireless environments. The use of the framework to develop mPowermobile , a multi-agent system to support mobile workforces, is also reported.

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