Keyvan Azadbakht

Thesis Title: A Framework for Engineering Agent-Oriented Methodologies                        


Agents are autonomous entities that have independent threads of control, and that interact with each other in their environment. Due to the intelligence of agents and their ability as to social interaction, an agent-oriented system exhibits remarkable synergistic traits. Agent-oriented software development facilitates the development of flexible systems that exhibit complex behaviors.
Traditional software development methodologies do not sufficiently satisfy the special needs of the agent-oriented paradigm. Therefore, many researchers have focused on developing specialized agent-oriented methodologies, or have worked on extending or adapting existing methodologies so that they can be used for developing multi-agent software systems. As a result, many agent-oriented methodologies (and variants) have been introduced; examples include ASPECS, PASSI, and MASD, to name just a few of the more recent ones. Situational Method Engineering (SME) approaches have already been used for constructing bespoke agent-oriented methodologies (methodologies that best fit the characteristics of specific software development projects); however, the need remains for a generic framework for agent-oriented methodologies that is specifically defined and intended for the instantiation and construction of custom agent-oriented processes.
The main goal of this research is to develop a framework for engineering agent-oriented methodologies. As the first step, existing agent oriented methodologies and frameworks will be reviewed. Criteria will then be defined for analyzing these methodologies/frameworks in order to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Based on the results of this analysis, a generic framework will be proposed for agent-oriented methodologies; the framework will consist of course-grained and fine-grained process patterns, organized into a hierarchy. The proposed framework will then be validated in a SME context: This will be done by instantiating the framework to yield a made-to-order methodology, and evaluating the result based on the abovementioned criteria.    

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Contact Information

   Email: kazadbakht [at] ce [dot] sharif [dot] edu