Slide 23 of 78
When considering the information needs of multi-agent systems, one must consider both external and operational data. By external data, we refer to task-specific data stores, the maintenance, dissemination, and/or presentation of which is a critical part of the system’s assigned functionality. These are potentially huge, potentially heterogeneous, and frequently legacy data sources. Many of the challenges here have to do with selecting and/or crafting an agent paradigm and framework that can support this functionality in a natural way.
By operational data, we refer to data that is not, generally speaking, part of the user’s conceptualization of the system’s functionality, but is needed to support the activities of a community of agents (primarily data which is shared among two or more agents). Here, the system designer is often forced to consider communication and transaction costs associated with sharing information among agents.
As is true of all the areas under discussion, this area includes challenges for the agent framework designer, as well as for the systems designer.