The April Agent Platform


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Features and Summary

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  • AAP Group composition: jono, tofu, collaborative work with jak, from Imperial (IC)
  • NAR: research group working in smart services: services on the Web: Agentcities (AC), use of formal representations in contracts and agreements (network of trusts) above the AC services. Agent technology: our own platform: AAP: a research agent-deployment environment, used for example for the SF Agentcity.
  • AAP is conformant to the FIPA-2000 standard, that is all about interoperability among agents. It includes white pages and yellow pages, for example. Experimentation with the AAP can result in something not always applicable to all environments. Suitable for long term agent deployment. ICM is for agents what email is for humans, a message transport system.
  • April was developed by FLA and IC. designed for multiple execution environments small core plus basic macros; high flexibility in language design (higher order in the functional sense) Prolog without backtracking and with restrictions applicable to pattern matching no shared memory, no concurrent things going on ICM is the core of message passing. it takes the data structure and encodes terms in a suitable format for transmission over the Internet ICM servers are needed on each machine; they work asynchronously: they fire and forget; there is no order in message transmission, but messages can then be selected-filtered thru pattern matching; in this way the system is not slowed down by slow agents.
  • In pink are things taken from FIPA apart from the ICM transport model. In light blue, are our additions used for projects like AC. On the top row: parsers Mid row: services: AMS = agent management system MTS = message transport system Bottom row: PQA: allow to query any remote AMS and DF
  • Bottom part (from client libraries): internal structure Top part: what is presented to the external world In blue is the FIPA speaking part The basic idea is of services wrapped with FIPA. This allows to integrate legacy systems into an agent environment without changing the old system We have this wrapping for FIPA, but we could have it for any other web-service environment. It is easy to retarget to different environments.
  • How the AAP communicates with the outside world The ICM is designed to be modular On the bottom are the agents. In blue are the agents which speak FIPA. In the upper part there are the modules that the ICM needs to communicate with other transport systems: XML protocol is “extended SOAP” The general idea is that the ICM abstract the transport system from the agents.
  • The event organizer is an example of service composition, like hotel-transportation-restaurant-transportation-cinema-transportation-hotel. IC is using the AAP for one of the London Agentcities. Pervasive computing to retrieve information that is then used for personal profiling in the Agentcities environment.
  • Not only FIPA Is there any question?
  • core platform and agents: AMS and DF
  • The April Agent Platform

    1. 1. The April Agent Platform Features and Summary Dr Luigi Ceccaroni Dr Jonathan Dale Network Agent Research Group Fujitsu Laboratories of America John Knottenbelt Department of Computing Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine February, 2002
    2. 2. © 2002 Fujitsu Laboratories of AmericaIntroduction• What is the AAP?• April and the InterAgent Communications Model• Features• Communication Model• Platform Organization• AAP in Use• Downloading
    3. 3. © 2002 Fujitsu Laboratories of AmericaWhat is the AAP?• A FIPA-compliant agent platform• Provides services to facilitate the development and deployment of agents on the Internet• Primary purpose is a platform for research and experimentation in agent technology and deployment• Intended to be used by anybody interested in agents, not only researchers• Written in the April programming language and using the ICM communications infrastructure
    4. 4. © 2002 Fujitsu Laboratories of AmericaApril and the ICM• April is designed for multi-agent systems: – Distributed symbolic programming – Extensible language (macro layer) – Higher-order programming (can treat code as data and pass it from one process to another over the Web) – Pattern based language (patterns are an extension and a simplification of Prolog unification) – Process oriented language (loosely connected processes which interact via message passing only)• InterAgent Communications Model (ICM) is a distributed message passing system: – Message encoding – Delivery and routing
    5. 5. © 2002 Fujitsu Laboratories of America Features of the AAP FIPA Experimental Specifications (FIPA 2000) ParsersFIPA ACL Parser XMLFIPA SL Parser (SL0/1/2) XML Namespaces RDF(S) Platform ServicesTransports Platform Services OntologiesHTTP AMS (white pages) Frame descriptorsICM DF (yellow pages) MTS (transport service) GeneralServices Sample Agents / Services Coming soonPing Agent (AC Network) Weather Service DAML+OILPlatform Query Agent (for Weather Query Agent DAML-S AMS and DF) ISO KIF
    6. 6. © 2002 Fujitsu Laboratories of AmericaAAP Platform Organisation FIPA ACL Agent Other Protocol ICM Non-FIPA AMS Agent DF Agent ACL Agent Client Libraries Server Libraries AMS Server DF Server AMS DF Registration Registration Database Database
    7. 7. © 2002 Fujitsu Laboratories of America Communication Model in the AAP HTTP SMTP XML Other OtherProtocol Protocol Protocol Protocol Protocol XMLHTTP SMTP Other Other ProtocolModule Module Module Module Module InterAgent Communications Model AMS DF AMS DF Non-FIPAServer Server Agent Agent ACL Agent
    8. 8. © 2002 Fujitsu Laboratories of AmericaThe AAP in Action• Being used in the Agentcities.RTD network: – To build various domain services such as:  Weather  Cinema  Hotel  Restaurant  Taxi – The Evening Organizer application for San Francisco• Being used in by Imperial College London: – The implementation for one of the London cities – Basis for a personal profiling system for Personal Agents (ratings and reviews services)• Being used by Fujitsu: – Basis for a pervasive computing infrastructure (location and context-aware services)
    9. 9. © 2002 Fujitsu Laboratories of AmericaConclusions• AAP built on a principle of modularity which gives flexibility and extensibility• Not built on one technology philosophy; can integrate different standardization efforts and technology support• Services are abstracted through agent wrapping which provides easier integration with legacy systems• April is an advanced programming language with is expressly designed for building distributed systems
    10. 10. © 2002 Fujitsu Laboratories of AmericaDownload Details• Distribution contains: – Core platform components and agents – Documentation – Sample agents and services• Open source license (GNU Public License) – Collaborative open source project• Available on