ACML – An XML-based Agent Communication Language

S. Duignan and D. Chambers (Ireland)


Software Agents, Intelligent Agents, Internet Computing.


A significant amount of software agent research concentrates on agent architectures and the agent development process. Domain categorizations of such software agents include agents for deductive reasoning, practical reasoning, as well as intelligent agents. Common agent applications include data filtering and analysis, condition monitoring, personal assistance, electronic marketplace, and information brokering. The capability for autonomous action to meet design goals and objectives is one characteristic that bestows the title of "intelligent" on a software agent. Intelligent behaviour includes the ability to communicate with other agents using an expressive communication language, and the ability to cooperate with other agents to accomplish complex goals. We contend that the social environment within which software agents reside significantly influences the potential for intelligent behaviour. This paper addresses the agent communication / interaction aspects of agent design, assesses the current state of agent communication languages, and proposes an agent communication language based on the eXtensible Markup Language (XML). Furthermore, we assess our proposed agent communication language against a number of accepted criteria. Finally, we describe a prototype agent system that implements our proposals.

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