Agent-Oriented Software Development

Funding agency:  Communications and Information Technology Ontario

Principal Investigator: John Mylopoulos, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto

Other Team Members:
Yves Lespérance, Department of Computer Science, York University
Eric Yu, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto

Duration:  2 years  (2000 -- 2002)


This project will focus on developing a software development methodology for agent-based software systems. The key concepts used during software development, according to our methodology, will be those of agent and goal. Our methodology will span early phases of software development from requirements analysis to design. The notions of agent and goal are already used in the requirements engineering literature, but it is assumed that they are turned into software functionalities and qualities by the time requirements engineering is complete. They are also used in distributed artificial intelligence, but there the focus is on agent programming.

The main objective of the project is to develop a framework called Tropos for building agent-based software. The proposed framework will include concepts, tools, and techniques for doing reqiurements engineering and design for such software. One can think of the framework as being analogous to what UML and associated development techniques offer for object-oriented software development. But unlike UML, where the key concepts are that of object, class, method, inheritance, use case, etc., our framework would use agent-related concepts such as actor, agent, position, role, goal,softgoal, process, social dependency, etc., most of which are borrowed from Eric Yu's i* framework for early requirements engineering. Elements of the ConGolog agent-oriented specification framework will also be incorporated for detailed/formal process specification.

back to [Yves Lespérance]