[Modeling] Re: Behavior in Interaction Diagrams

Stephen Cranefield scranefield@infoscience.otago.ac.nz
Mon, 17 Mar 2003 11:35:15 +1200

Marc-Philippe Huget wrote:
> I just received a good question that must be considered even if I
> have my thoughts about it. The person represents agents as a set of
> objects:
> one for communication, one for means-end reasoning, one for scheduling,
> etc. She wants to write an interaction diagram that presents the
> exchange of messages between agents but as well, the method invocation
> between the agent as whole and the objects constituting it. The aim is
> to link messages to actions triggered by these messages.

I agree that it is important to be able to do this, although it
depends on what use is being made of the interaction diagram.  If the
diagram is being used as an external representation of the system
(e.g. to aid debugging, as suggested in the AAMAS 2002 paper by
Poutakidis et al., http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/544862.544966), then the
connection of messages to actions doesn't seem to be required.
However, if the diagram is intended to be a fully detailed
specification of an interaction protocol then it seems important to
indicate what information is contained within the message and what it
is that the agent should do with that information (e.g make a
particular type of decision).  I have a paper discussing this issue at
http://CEUR-WS.org/Vol-66/oas02-16.pdf, although it uses Petri net
notation, not AUML.

This requirement could possibly be dealt with by making connections
between different kinds of AUML diagram, but I think it would be
better if there were a way to define an interaction protocol and the
connection between messages and actions in a single diagram.

- Stephen

Stephen Cranefield                       
Department of Information Science 
University of Otago                               Phone: 64 3 479 8083
PO Box 56, Dunedin                                Fax:   64 3 479 8311
New Zealand                E-mail: scranefield@infoscience.otago.ac.nz