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Dissertation
AutorLars Braubach
BetreuerWinfried Lamersdorf
TitelArchitekturen und Methoden zur Entwicklung verteilter agentenorientierter Softwaresysteme
Abgabe am24.01.2007
ZusammenfassungThe importance of distributed systems is steadily increasing especially in the context of actual trends such as the inclusion of everyday objects into computer networks. The construction of such kind of systems is a demanding and complex task that naturally leads to new kinds of problems due to inherent system properties such as the high dynamics, heterogeneity and flexible interactions. These problems should be addressed not on application level but on software paradigm level in order to avoid reinventing generic solutions. In contrast to established paradigms such as object-orientation that do not offer adequate concepts for distributed applications currently agent-orientation is seen as promising approach for closing this conceptual gap as it offers natural description means for distributed applications. Despite the evident advantages of agent orientation this way of thinking could not yet gain sustainable acceptance in practice mainly due to the heterogeneity of the research field and the accompanying inconsistent and insufficiently matured approaches. Therefore, the primary objective of this dissertation is to contribute to the usability and usage of the agent paradigm for software engineering. For the effective and efficient creation of agent applications two essential influence factors have been identified in this work: the methodological support and the properties of available agent frameworks. The conceptual foundation of agent frameworks are agent architectures as they influence the agent view available for software developers. The agent view in this respect determines to which degree the vital agent characteristics such as reactivity and proactivity can be used. The BDI model of agency exhibits several advantages compared to other agent architectures and makes it an especially promising starting point for agent frameworks. Nevertheless, the BDI architectures conceived so far, also have inherent weaknesses that are one important point for the improvements in this work. The key point of this work consists in the reduction of the conceptual gap between the philosphical view of the BDI model and its software technological interpretation within a new agent architecture that supports the two-phase BDI practical reasoning process. The new architecture additionally ensures with its underlying conceptual and technical extensibility that further aspects such as emotional behaviour control can be integrated easily. The newly conceived architecture is further concretized for direct software implementation and has been realized within the Jadex agent framework. The suitability for everyday use of the framework and the underlying architecture is demonstrated by numerous usages in the academic as well as in the industrial reasearch field. Additionally it is shown theoretically and practically that a methodological development in the context of actual BDI methodologies of agent applications is supported and promoted by Jadex.

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