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Formal Driven Prototyping Approach for Multi-Agent Systems

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In International Journal of Agent Oriented Software Engineering, vol. 2(2), pp. 246-266, 2008.
Abstract:
Even if Multi-Agent Systems are recognised as an appealing paradigm for designing many computer systems ranging from complex distributed systems to intelligent software applications they are still difficult to engineer. Many methodologies exist for engineering MAS. A common point of many of them is to produce different work products or models during the different phases. Each work product or model help to progress towards an implementation of the system under development. Nevertheless, there is very few ways to control that the work products and models produced are validated agaisnt the requirements. The aim of this paper is to present a formal driven prototyping approach for MAS. We believe that one way to bridge the gap between the abstract and the concrete level is to build the system specification using a prototyping process. This process provides a support for incremental specification leading to an executable model of the system being built. Indeed, in many areas of software and knowledge engineering, the development process putting emphasis on prototyping and simulation of complex systems before their effective implementation is proven to be a valuable approach. This process is based upon a formal organisational framework. This framework describes the key organisational concepts, such as Role, Interaction and Organisation, with a formal notation, namely OZS, which is the result of the composition of Object-Z and statecharts. The process is illustrated through the specification of a multi-agent architecture, we have used in several applications.
Keywords:
Multi-Agent Systems, Formal specification, Validation, Verification
Publication Category:
International journal with reading committee
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