Slide 19 of 78
“Interoperation” refers to the ability of 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 primarily because autonomy, the hallmark of individual agents, necessitates greater flexibility in interactions within communities of agents. Generally speaking (ignoring low-level requirements related to transport protocol), supporting interoperation involves a language, an ontology, and a conversational protocol.
There are a range of viable solutions, which may be ordered with respect to the amount of structure they impose on individual agents and on communities of agents. For example, because KQML is neutral as to the content of messages, it imposes minimal structural requirements on individual agents. On the other hand, the BDI paradigm is likely to impose much greater requirements, because it makes assumptions about the nature of the programming elements that are meaningful to individual agents. OAA falls somewhere in between the two. Where you want to be within this range depends upon your application.