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Philosophy and Goals of OAA

 

Our approach to distributed computing shares much in common with the paradigms outlined above. As with distributed object frameworks, the primary goal of OAA is to provide a means for integrating heterogeneous applications in a distributed infrastructure. However, we have also sought to incorporate some of the dynamism and extensibility of blackboard approaches, the efficiency associated with mobile objects, and the rich and complex interactions of communicating agents. Here, we spell out in greater detail the goals of OAA, which may be categorized under the general headings of interoperation and cooperation, user interfaces, and software engineering.

Versatile mechanisms of interoperation and cooperation. Interoperation refers to the ability of distributed software components - agents - to communicate meaningfully. While every system-building framework must provide mechanisms of interoperation at some level of granularity, agent-based frameworks face important new challenges in this area. This is true primarily because autonomy, the hallmark of individual agents, necessitates greater flexibility in interactions within communities of agents. Coordination refers to the mechanisms by which a community of agents is able to work together productively on some task. In these areas, the goals for our framework are to

Human-oriented user interfaces. Systems composed of multiple distributed components, and possibly dynamic configurations of components, require the crafting of intuitive user interfaces to

Realistic software engineering requirements. To be successful, a system-building framework must address the practical concerns of real-world applications, as expressed by these goals:


next up previous
Next: Overview of OAA Up: The Open Agent Previous: Agent-based Software Engineering

Adam Cheyer
Mon Oct 19 17:14:26 PDT 1998