Gal A. Kaminka's Publications

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Representing Conversations for Scalable Overhearing

Gery Gutnik and Gal A. Kaminka. Representing Conversations for Scalable Overhearing. Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 25:349–387, 2006.

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Abstract

Open distributed multi-agent systems are gaining interest in the academic community and in industry. In such open settings, agents are often coordinated using standardized agent conversation protocols. The representation of such protocols (for analysis, validation, monitoring, etc) is an important aspect of multi-agent applications. Recently, Petri nets have been shown to be an interesting approach to such representation, and radically different approaches using Petri nets have been proposed. However, their relative strengths and weaknesses have not been examined. Moreover, their scalability and suitability for different tasks have not been addressed. This paper addresses both these challenges. First, we analyze existing Petri net representations in terms of their scalability and appropriateness for overhearing, an important task in monitoring open multi-agent systems. Then, building on the insights gained, we introduce a novel representation using Colored Petri nets that explicitly represent legal joint conversation states and messages. This representation approach offers significant improvements in scalability and is particularly suitable for overhearing. Furthermore, we show that this new representation offers a comprehensive coverage of all conversation features of FIPA conversation standards. We also present a procedure for transforming AUML conversation protocol diagrams (a standard human-readable representation), to our Colored Petri net representation.

Additional Information

HTML version and others: On the paper's JAIR site.

BibTeX

@Article{jair06gery, 
  author = 	 {Gery Gutnik and Gal A. Kaminka}, 
  title = 	 {Representing Conversations for Scalable Overhearing}, 
  journal = 	 JAIR, 
  year = 	 {2006}, 
  volume = 	 {25}, 
  pages = {349--387}, 
  abstract = {Open distributed multi-agent systems are gaining 
              interest in the academic community and in industry. In 
              such open settings, agents are often coordinated using 
              standardized agent conversation protocols. The 
              representation of such protocols (for analysis, 
              validation, monitoring, etc) is an important aspect of 
              multi-agent applications. Recently, Petri nets have been 
              shown to be an interesting approach to such 
              representation, and radically different approaches using 
              Petri nets have been proposed. However, their relative 
              strengths and weaknesses have not been 
              examined. Moreover, their scalability and suitability 
              for different tasks have not been addressed. This paper 
              addresses both these challenges. First, we analyze 
              existing Petri net representations in terms of their 
              scalability and appropriateness for overhearing, an 
              important task in monitoring open multi-agent 
              systems. Then, building on the insights gained, we 
              introduce a novel representation using Colored Petri 
              nets that explicitly represent legal joint conversation 
              states and messages. This representation approach offers 
              significant improvements in scalability and is 
              particularly suitable for overhearing. Furthermore, we 
              show that this new representation offers a comprehensive 
              coverage of all conversation features of FIPA 
              conversation standards. We also present a procedure for 
              transforming AUML conversation protocol diagrams (a 
              standard human-readable representation), to our Colored 
              Petri net representation. }, 
  wwwnote = {}, 
} 

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