[Modeling] Modeling an Agent Class- register your opinion

James Odell email@jamesodell.com
Thu, 12 Jun 2003 19:27:59 -0400

Hi Frits,

Welcome to the list.

On 6/12/03 4:25 PM, "f.tolman" indited:
> In my field of research we are trying to use agent technology to build
> virtual actors in the building and construction industry. For example a
> Virtual Architect, Virtual Adviser, Virtual Cost Engineer, etc. Such virtual
> actors can be consulted by humans and other virtual actors. When I think of
> such a concept it does not seem to match to the simple UML class. At the
> other hand it also does not seem to fit too well with the agent concept, as
> in this discussion agents seem to be small (and beautiful?). A Most
> important parts of a Virtual Architect can be described using models of UML
> classes, relations, constraints, properties and methods. Some parts, maybe
> on a meta level, can be desrcibed by agent concepts.

>So the question is of course: is there agreement over the question which
> types of agents are in scope, and which not?

Currently, we do not discriminate against (of for) any particular kind of
agent -- within reason.  In fact, we are trying to get our arms around the
question: what are agents and what do they entail.  If we are going to
develop a modeling language, we need to understand that kinds of agents that
need to be modeled.  So, if you have a kind of agent that you need a
modeling language to express and communicate about, this might be your
group.  You task would be to determine what kind of graphical modeling
notation would best express and communicate "virtual actors."  And, perhaps
you can find others in the Modeling TC that might share you quest.

>And next: an agent that performes its roles is an
> occurrence, but does that mean that its behaviours and such can not
> described by a type-like something (class, template,..)?

Currently, there is a small subgroup of people working on "role."  For us,
role is esentially a class (or AgentClass).  When an agent is an instance of
a role, it acquires the properties of that role -- similar to an object
acquiring the structural and behavioral features of its class.  For example,
when you say that particular Broker agent "performs its role", this implies
that the agent is executing the Broker-based behavior.

Does this make sense?