Published online by Cambridge University Press: 07 July 2006
In contrast to standard approaches based on agent communication languages (ACLs), environment-based coordination is emerging as an interesting alternative for structuring interactions in multiagent systems (MASs). In particular, the notion of coordination artifacts has been proposed as an engineering methodology to build runtime abstractions effectively providing collaborating agents with specifically designed coordination tasks.
In this paper, we study the semantics for the interaction of agents with coordination artifacts playing the same role of ACL semantics, that is, supporting semantic interoperability between agents developed by different parties through the connection between rationality and interaction. Our approach is rooted on the notion of operating instructions of coordination artifacts, which—as with a manual for a human exploiting a device—describe the interaction protocols the agent can follow as well as the mentalistic semantics of each single interaction. By tackling some of the most relevant issues raised in the context of ACL semantics, our framework allows intelligent, BDI-like agents to carry on complex interactions through coordination artifacts in a rational way.