Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 357

Search results for: conversational agents

357 A Black-box Approach for Response Quality Evaluation of Conversational Agent Systems

Authors: Ong Sing Goh, C. Ardil, Wilson Wong, Chun Che Fung

Abstract:

The evaluation of conversational agents or chatterbots question answering systems is a major research area that needs much attention. Before the rise of domain-oriented conversational agents based on natural language understanding and reasoning, evaluation is never a problem as information retrieval-based metrics are readily available for use. However, when chatterbots began to become more domain specific, evaluation becomes a real issue. This is especially true when understanding and reasoning is required to cater for a wider variety of questions and at the same time to achieve high quality responses. This paper discusses the inappropriateness of the existing measures for response quality evaluation and the call for new standard measures and related considerations are brought forward. As a short-term solution for evaluating response quality of conversational agents, and to demonstrate the challenges in evaluating systems of different nature, this research proposes a blackbox approach using observation, classification scheme and a scoring mechanism to assess and rank three example systems, AnswerBus, START and AINI.

Keywords: Evaluation, conversational agents, Response Quality, chatterbots

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356 Designing and Evaluating Pedagogic Conversational Agents to Teach Children

Authors: Silvia Tamayo-Moreno, Diana Pérez-Marín

Abstract:

In this paper, the possibility of children studying by using an interactive learning technology called Pedagogic Conversational Agent is presented. The main benefit is that the agent is able to adapt the dialogue to each student and to provide automatic feedback. Moreover, according to Math teachers, in many cases students are unable to solve the problems even knowing the procedure to solve them, because they do not understand what they have to do. The hypothesis is that if students are helped to understand what they have to solve, they will be able to do it. Taken that into account, we have started the development of Dr. Roland, an agent to help students understand Math problems following a User-Centered Design methodology. The use of this methodology is proposed, for the first time, to design pedagogic agents to teach any subject from Secondary down to Pre-Primary education. The reason behind proposing a methodology is that while working on this project, we noticed the lack of literature to design and evaluate agents. To cover this gap, we describe how User-Centered Design can be applied, and which usability techniques can be applied to evaluate the agent.

Keywords: Pedagogic conversational agent, human-computer interaction, user-centered design, natural language interface.

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355 A Multilingual Virtual Simulated Patient Framework for Training Primary Health Care Students

Authors: Juan L. Castro, Maria I. NavarroVictor Lopez, Eduardo M. Eisman, Jose M. Zurita

Abstract:

This paper describes the Multilingual Virtual Simulated Patient framework. It has been created to train the social skills and testing the knowledge of primary health care medical students. The framework generates conversational agents which perform in serveral languages as virtual simulated patients that help to improve the communication and diagnosis skills of the students complementing their training process.

Keywords: Medical training, conversational agents, patient modeling.

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354 A Crisis Communication Network Based on Embodied Conversational Agents System with Mobile Services

Authors: Ong Sing Goh, C. Ardil, Chun Che Fung, Kok Wai Wong, Arnold Depickere

Abstract:

In this paper, we proposed a new framework to incorporate an intelligent agent software robot into a crisis communication portal (CCNet) in order to send alert news to subscribed users via email and other mobile services such as Short Message Service (SMS), Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) and General Packet Radio Services (GPRS). The content on the mobile services can be delivered either through mobile phone or Personal Digital Assistance (PDA). This research has shown that with our proposed framework, the embodied conversation agents system can handle questions intelligently with our multilayer architecture. At the same time, the extended framework can take care of delivery content through a more humanoid interface on mobile devices.

Keywords: Crisis Communication Network (CCNet), EmbodiedConversational Agents (ECAs), Mobile Services, ArtificialIntelligence Neural-network Identity (AINI)

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353 The Effect of Information vs. Reasoning Gap Tasks on the Frequency of Conversational Strategies and Accuracy in Speaking among Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners

Authors: Hooriya Sadr Dadras, Shiva Seyed Erfani

Abstract:

Speaking skills merit meticulous attention both on the side of the learners and the teachers. In particular, accuracy is a critical component to guarantee the messages to be conveyed through conversation because a wrongful change may adversely alter the content and purpose of the talk. Different types of tasks have served teachers to meet numerous educational objectives. Besides, negotiation of meaning and the use of different strategies have been areas of concern in socio-cultural theories of SLA. Negotiation of meaning is among the conversational processes which have a crucial role in facilitating the understanding and expression of meaning in a given second language. Conversational strategies are used during interaction when there is a breakdown in communication that leads to the interlocutor attempting to remedy the gap through talk. Therefore, this study was an attempt to investigate if there was any significant difference between the effect of reasoning gap tasks and information gap tasks on the frequency of conversational strategies used in negotiation of meaning in classrooms on one hand, and on the accuracy in speaking of Iranian intermediate EFL learners on the other. After a pilot study to check the practicality of the treatments, at the outset of the main study, the Preliminary English Test was administered to ensure the homogeneity of 87 out of 107 participants who attended the intact classes of a 15 session term in one control and two experimental groups. Also, speaking sections of PET were used as pretest and posttest to examine their speaking accuracy. The tests were recorded and transcribed to estimate the percentage of the number of the clauses with no grammatical errors in the total produced clauses to measure the speaking accuracy. In all groups, the grammatical points of accuracy were instructed and the use of conversational strategies was practiced. Then, different kinds of reasoning gap tasks (matchmaking, deciding on the course of action, and working out a time table) and information gap tasks (restoring an incomplete chart, spot the differences, arranging sentences into stories, and guessing game) were manipulated in experimental groups during treatment sessions, and the students were required to practice conversational strategies when doing speaking tasks. The conversations throughout the terms were recorded and transcribed to count the frequency of the conversational strategies used in all groups. The results of statistical analysis demonstrated that applying both the reasoning gap tasks and information gap tasks significantly affected the frequency of conversational strategies through negotiation. In the face of the improvements, the reasoning gap tasks had a more significant impact on encouraging the negotiation of meaning and increasing the number of conversational frequencies every session. The findings also indicated both task types could help learners significantly improve their speaking accuracy. Here, applying the reasoning gap tasks was more effective than the information gap tasks in improving the level of learners’ speaking accuracy.

Keywords: Accuracy in speaking, conversational strategies, information gap tasks, reasoning gap tasks.

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352 An Agent Based Simulation for Network Formation with Heterogeneous Agents

Authors: Hisashi Kojima, Masatora Daito

Abstract:

We investigate an asymmetric connections model with a dynamic network formation process, using an agent based simulation. We permit heterogeneity of agents- value. Valuable persons seem to have many links on real social networks. We focus on this point of view, and examine whether valuable agents change the structures of the terminal networks. Simulation reveals that valuable agents diversify the terminal networks. We can not find evidence that valuable agents increase the possibility that star networks survive the dynamic process. We find that valuable agents disperse the degrees of agents in each terminal network on an average.

Keywords: network formation, agent based simulation, connections model.

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351 Interactive Agents with Artificial Mind

Authors: Hirohide Ushida

Abstract:

This paper discusses an artificial mind model and its applications. The mind model is based on some theories which assert that emotion is an important function in human decision making. An artificial mind model with emotion is built, and the model is applied to action selection of autonomous agents. In three examples, the agents interact with humans and their environments. The examples show the proposed model effectively work in both virtual agents and real robots.

Keywords: Artificial mind, emotion, interactive agent, pet robot

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350 Modelling Multiagent Systems

Authors: Gilbert Ndjatou

Abstract:

We propose a formal framework for the specification of the behavior of a system of agents, as well as those of the constituting agents. This framework allows us to model each agent-s effectoric capability including its interactions with the other agents. We also provide an algorithm based on Milner-s "observation equivalence" to derive an agent-s perception of its task domain situations from its effectoric capability, and use "system computations" to model the coordinated efforts of the agents in the system . Formal definitions of the concept of "behavior equivalence" of two agents and that of system computations equivalence for an agent are also provided.

Keywords: Multiagent system, object system, observation equivalence, reactive systems.

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349 A Logic Based Framework for Planning for Mobile Agents

Authors: Rajdeep Niyogi

Abstract:

The objective of the paper is twofold. First, to develop a formal framework for planning for mobile agents. A logical language based on a temporal logic is proposed that can express a type of tasks which often arise in network management. Second, to design a planning algorithm for such tasks. The aim of this paper is to study the importance of finding plans for mobile agents. Although there has been a lot of research in mobile agents, not much work has been done to incorporate planning ideas for such agents. This paper makes an attempt in this direction. A theoretical study of finding plans for mobile agents is undertaken. A planning algorithm (based on the paradigm of mobile computing) is proposed and its space, time, and communication complexity is analyzed. The algorithm is illustrated by working out an example in detail.

Keywords: Acting, computer network, mobile agent, mobile computing, planning, temporal logic.

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348 Flocking Behaviors for Multiple Groups with Heterogeneous Agents

Authors: Jae Moon Lee

Abstract:

Most of researches for conventional simulations were studied focusing on flocks with a single species. While there exist the flocking behaviors with a single species in nature, the flocking behaviors are frequently observed with multi-species. This paper studies on the flocking simulation for heterogeneous agents. In order to simulate the flocks for heterogeneous agents, the conventional method uses the identifier of flock, while the proposed method defines the feature vector of agent and uses the similarity between agents by comparing with those feature vectors. Based on the similarity, the paper proposed the attractive force and repulsive force and then executed the simulation by applying two forces. The results of simulation showed that flock formation with heterogeneous agents is very natural in both cases. In addition, it showed that unlike the existing method, the proposed method can not only control the density of the flocks, but also be possible for two different groups of agents to flock close to each other if they have a high similarity.

Keywords: Flocking behavior, heterogeneous agents, similarity, simulation

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347 A Pragmatics Study on Jokes and the Implicature in Broadcast Messages

Authors: Yuli Widiana

Abstract:

The study of implicature which is one of the discussions of pragmatics is such an interesting and challenging topic to discuss. Implicature is such a meaning which is implied in such an utterance which is not the same as its literal meaning. The rapid development of information technology results social networks as media to broadcast messages. The broadcast messages may be in the form of jokes which contain implicature. The research applies the pragmatic equivalent method to analyze the topics of jokes based on the implicatures contained in them. Furthermore, the method is also applied to reveal the purpose of creating implicature in jokes. The findings include the kinds of implicature found in jokes which are classified into conventional implicature and conversational implicature. Then, in detailed analysis, implicature in jokes is divided into implicature related to gender, culture, and social phenomena. Furthermore, implicature in jokes may not only be used to give entertainment but also to soften criticisms or satire so that it does not sound rude and harsh.

Keywords: Implicature, broadcast messages, conventional implicature, conversational implicature.

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346 Trustworthy in Virtual Organization

Authors: Abdolhamid Fetanat, Mehdi Naghian Feshaareki

Abstract:

In open settings, the participants in virtual organization are autonomous and there is no central authority to ensure the felicity of their interactions. When agents interact in such settings, each relies upon being able to model the trustworthiness of the agents with whom it interacts. Fundamentally, such models must consider the past behavior of the other parties in order to predict their future behavior. Further, it is sensible for the agents to share information via referrals to trustworthy agents. In this article, trust is a bet on the future contingent actions of others" and enumerates six major factors supporting it: (1) reputation, (2) performance, (3) appearance, (4) accountability, (5) precommitment, and (6) contextual facilitation.

Keywords: Trustworthy, trust, virtual organization.

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345 Design an Electronic Market Framework Using JADE Environment

Authors: Mohammad Ali Tabarzad, Caro Lucas

Abstract:

The daily growing use of agents in software environments, because of many reasons such as independence and intelligence is not a secret anymore. One of such environments in which there is a prominent job for the agents would be emarketplaces in which a user is able to give those agents the responsibility of buying and selling, instead of searching the emarketplace himself. Making up a framework which has sufficient attention to the required roles and their relations, is the first step of achieving such e-markets. In this paper, we suggest a framework in order to establish such e-markets and we will continue investigating the roles such as seller or buyer and the relations in JADE environment in details.

Keywords: Framework, software agents, e-commerce, e-market.

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344 Inferential Reasoning for Heterogeneous Multi-Agent Mission

Authors: Sagir M. Yusuf, Chris Baber

Abstract:

We describe issues bedeviling the coordination of heterogeneous (different sensors carrying agents) multi-agent missions such as belief conflict, situation reasoning, etc. We applied Bayesian and agents' presumptions inferential reasoning to solve the outlined issues with the heterogeneous multi-agent belief variation and situational-base reasoning. Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) was used in modeling the agents' belief conflict due to sensor variations. Simulation experiments were designed, and cases from agents’ missions were used in training the BBN using gradient descent and expectation-maximization algorithms. The output network is a well-trained BBN for making inferences for both agents and human experts. We claim that the Bayesian learning algorithm prediction capacity improves by the number of training data and argue that it enhances multi-agents robustness and solve agents’ sensor conflicts.

Keywords: Distributed constraint optimization problem, multi-agent system, multi-robot coordination, autonomous system, swarm intelligence.

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343 Integrating E-learning Environments with Computational Intelligence Assessment Agents

Authors: Christos E. Alexakos, Konstantinos C. Giotopoulos, Eleni J. Thermogianni, Grigorios N. Beligiannis, Spiridon D. Likothanassis

Abstract:

In this contribution an innovative platform is being presented that integrates intelligent agents in legacy e-learning environments. It introduces the design and development of a scalable and interoperable integration platform supporting various assessment agents for e-learning environments. The agents are implemented in order to provide intelligent assessment services to computational intelligent techniques such as Bayesian Networks and Genetic Algorithms. The utilization of new and emerging technologies like web services allows integrating the provided services to any web based legacy e-learning environment.

Keywords: Bayesian Networks, Computational Intelligence techniques, E-learning legacy systems, Service Oriented Integration, Intelligent Agents

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342 Knowledge Management and Tourism: An Exploratory Study Applied to Travel Agents in Egypt

Authors: Mohammad Soliman, Mohamed A. Abou-Shouk

Abstract:

Knowledge management focuses on the development, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of information and expertise. It has become an important tool to improve performance in tourism enterprises. This includes improving decision-making, developing customer services, and increasing sales and profits. Knowledge management adoption depends on human, organizational and technological factors. This study aims to explore the concept of knowledge management in travel agents in Egypt. It explores the requirements of adoption and its impact on performance in these agencies. The study targets Category A travel agents in Egypt. The population of the study encompasses Category A travel agents having online presence. An online questionnaire is used to collect data from managers of travel agents. This study is useful for travel agents who are in urgent need to restructure their intermediary role and support their survival in the global travel market. The study sheds light on the requirements of adoption and the expected impact on performance. This could help travel agents identify their situation and the determine the extent to which they are ready to adopt knowledge management. This study is contributing to knowledge by providing insights from the tourism sector in a developing country where the concept of knowledge management is still in its infancy stages.

Keywords: Benefits, determinants, Egypt, knowledge management, travel agents.

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341 Teaching Ethical Behaviour: Conversational Analysis in Perspective

Authors: Nikhil Kewal Krishna Mehta

Abstract:

In the past researchers have questioned the effectiveness of ethics training in higher education. Also, there are observations that support the view that ethical behaviour (range of actions)/ethical decision making models used in the past make use of vignettes to explain ethical behaviour. The understanding remains in the perspective that these vignettes play a limited role in determining individual intentions and not actions. Some authors have also agreed that there are possibilities of differences in one’s intentions and actions. This paper makes an attempt to fill those gaps by evaluating real actions rather than intentions. In a way this study suggests the use of an experiential methodology to explore Berlo’s model of communication as an action along with orchestration of various principles. To this endeavor, an attempt was made to use conversational analysis in the pursuance of evaluating ethical decision making behaviour among students and middle level managers. The process was repeated six times with the set of an average of 15 participants. Similarities have been observed in the behaviour of students and middle level managers that calls for understanding that both the groups of individuals have no cognizance of their actual actions. The deliberations derived out of conversation were taken a step forward for meta-ethical evaluations to portray a clear picture of ethical behaviour among participants. This study provides insights for understanding demonstrated unconscious human behaviour which may fortuitously be termed both ethical and unethical.

Keywords: Berlo’s action model of communication, Conversational Analysis, Ethical behaviour, Ethical decision making, experiential learning, Intentions and Actions.

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340 Applying Autonomic Computing Concepts to Parallel Computing using Intelligent Agents

Authors: Blesson Varghese, Gerard T. McKee

Abstract:

The work reported in this paper is motivated by the fact that there is a need to apply autonomic computing concepts to parallel computing systems. Advancing on prior work based on intelligent cores [36], a swarm-array computing approach, this paper focuses on 'Intelligent agents' another swarm-array computing approach in which the task to be executed on a parallel computing core is considered as a swarm of autonomous agents. A task is carried to a computing core by carrier agents and is seamlessly transferred between cores in the event of a predicted failure, thereby achieving self-ware objectives of autonomic computing. The feasibility of the proposed swarm-array computing approach is validated on a multi-agent simulator.

Keywords: Autonomic computing, intelligent agents, swarm-array computing.

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339 GeoSEMA: A Modelling Platform, Emerging “GeoSpatial-based Evolutionary and Mobile Agents“

Authors: Mohamed Dbouk, Ihab Sbeity

Abstract:

Spatial and mobile computing evolves. This paper describes a smart modeling platform called “GeoSEMA". This approach tends to model multidimensional GeoSpatial Evolutionary and Mobile Agents. Instead of 3D and location-based issues, there are some other dimensions that may characterize spatial agents, e.g. discrete-continuous time, agent behaviors. GeoSEMA is seen as a devoted design pattern motivating temporal geographic-based applications; it is a firm foundation for multipurpose and multidimensional special-based applications. It deals with multipurpose smart objects (buildings, shapes, missiles, etc.) by stimulating geospatial agents. Formally, GeoSEMA refers to geospatial, spatio-evolutive and mobile space constituents where a conceptual geospatial space model is given in this paper. In addition to modeling and categorizing geospatial agents, the model incorporates the concept of inter-agents event-based protocols. Finally, a rapid software-architecture prototyping GeoSEMA platform is also given. It will be implemented/ validated in the next phase of our work.

Keywords: Location-Trajectory management, GIS, Mobile- Moving Objects/Agents, Multipurpose/Spatiotemporal data, Multi- Agent Systems.

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338 An Enhanced Tool for Implementing Dialogue Forms in Conversational Applications

Authors: Ilias Spais, George Bafas

Abstract:

Natural Language Understanding Systems (NLU) will not be widely deployed unless they are technically mature and cost effective to develop. Cost effective development hinges on the availability of tools and techniques enabling the rapid production of NLU applications through minimal human resources. Further, these tools and techniques should allow quick development of applications in a user friendly way and should be easy to upgrade in order to continuously follow the evolving technologies and standards. This paper presents a visual tool for the structuring and editing of dialog forms, the key element of driving conversation in NLU applications based on IBM technology. The main focus is given on the basic component used to describe Human – Machine interactions of that kind, the Dialogue Manager. In essence, the description of a tool that enables the visual representation of the Dialogue Manager mainly during the implementation phase is illustrated.

Keywords: Conversational Applications, Forms Dialogue Manager (FDM), Natural Language Processing, Natural Language Understanding.

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337 New Strategy Agents to Improve Power System Transient Stability

Authors: Mansour A. Mohamed, George G. Karady, Ali M. Yousef

Abstract:

This paper proposes transient angle stability agents to enhance power system stability. The proposed transient angle stability agents divided into two strategy agents. The first strategy agent is a prediction agent that will predict power system instability. According to the prediction agent-s output, the second strategy agent, which is a control agent, is automatically calculating the amount of active power reduction that can stabilize the system and initiating a control action. The control action considered is turbine fast valving. The proposed strategies are applied to a realistic power system, the IEEE 50- generator system. Results show that the proposed technique can be used on-line for power system instability prediction and control.

Keywords: Multi-agents, Fast Valving, Power System Transient Stability, Prediction methods,

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336 EMOES: Eye Motion and Ocular Expression Simulator

Authors: Nicoletta Adamo-Villani, Gerardo Beni, Jeremy White

Abstract:

We introduce, a new interactive 3D simulation system of ocular motion and expressions suitable for: (1) character animation applications to game design, film production, HCI (Human Computer Interface), conversational animated agents, and virtual reality; (2) medical applications (ophthalmic neurological and muscular pathologies: research and education); and (3) real time simulation of unconscious cognitive and emotional responses (for use, e.g., in psychological research). The system is comprised of: (1) a physiologically accurate parameterized 3D model of the eyes, eyelids, and eyebrow regions; and (2) a prototype device for realtime control of eye motions and expressions, including unconsciously produced expressions, for application as in (1), (2), and (3) above. The 3D eye simulation system, created using state-of-the-art computer animation technology and 'optimized' for use with an interactive and web deliverable platform, is, to our knowledge, the most advanced/realistic available so far for applications to character animation and medical pedagogy.

Keywords: 3D animation, HCI, medical simulation, ocularmotion and expression.

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335 3D Simulator of Ocular Motion and Expression

Authors: Nicoletta Adamo-Villani, Gerardo Beni, Jeremy White

Abstract:

We introduce a new interactive 3D simulator of ocular motion and expressions suitable for: (1) character animation applications to game design, film production, HCI (Human Computer Interface), conversational animated agents, and virtual reality; (2) medical applications (ophthalmic neurological and muscular pathologies: research and education); and (3) real time simulation of unconscious cognitive and emotional responses (for use, e.g., in psychological research). Using state-of-the-art computer animation technology we have modeled and rigged a physiologically accurate 3D model of the eyes, eyelids, and eyebrow regions and we have 'optimized' it for use with an interactive and web deliverable platform. In addition, we have realized a prototype device for realtime control of eye motions and expressions, including unconsciously produced expressions, for application as in (1), (2), and (3) above. The 3D simulator of eye motion and ocular expression is, to our knowledge, the most advanced/realistic available so far for applications in character animation and medical pedagogy.

Keywords: 3D animation, HCI, medical simulation, ocularmotion and expression.

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334 Agents Network on a Grid: An Approach with the Set of Circulant Operators

Authors: Babiga Birregah, Prosper K. Doh, Kondo H. Adjallah

Abstract:

In this work we present some matrix operators named circulant operators and their action on square matrices. This study on square matrices provides new insights into the structure of the space of square matrices. Moreover it can be useful in various fields as in agents networking on Grid or large-scale distributed self-organizing grid systems.

Keywords: Pascal matrices, Binomial Recursion, Circulant Operators, Square Matrix Bipartition, Local Network, Parallel networks of agents.

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333 A Flexible and Scalable Agent Platform for Multi-Agent Systems

Authors: Ae Hee Park, So Hyun Park, Hee Yong Youn

Abstract:

Multi-agent system is composed by several agents capable of reaching the goal cooperatively. The system needs an agent platform for efficient and stable interaction between intelligent agents. In this paper we propose a flexible and scalable agent platform by composing the containers with multiple hierarchical agent groups. It also allows efficient implementation of multiple domain presentations of the agents unlike JADE. The proposed platform provides both group management and individual management of agents for efficiency. The platform has been implemented and tested, and it can be used as a flexible foundation of the dynamic multi-agent system targeting seamless delivery of ubiquitous services.

Keywords: Agent platform, container, multi-agent system, services, ubiquitous computing

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332 Extending BDI Multiagent Systems with Agent Norms

Authors: Francisco José Plácido da Cunha, Tassio Ferenzini Martins Sirqueira, Marx Leles Viana, Carlos José Pereira de Lucena

Abstract:

Open Multiagent Systems (MASs) are societies in which heterogeneous and independently designed entities (agents) work towards similar, or different ends. Software agents are autonomous and the diversity of interests among different members living in the same society is a fact. In order to deal with this autonomy, these open systems use mechanisms of social control (norms) to ensure a desirable social order. This paper considers the following types of norms: (i) obligation — agents must accomplish a specific outcome; (ii) permission — agents may act in a particular way, and (iii) prohibition — agents must not act in a specific way. All of these characteristics mean to encourage the fulfillment of norms through rewards and to discourage norm violation by pointing out the punishments. Once the software agent decides that its priority is the satisfaction of its own desires and goals, each agent must evaluate the effects associated to the fulfillment of one or more norms before choosing which one should be fulfilled. The same applies when agents decide to violate a norm. This paper also introduces a framework for the development of MASs that provide support mechanisms to the agent’s decision-making, using norm-based reasoning. The applicability and validation of this approach is demonstrated applying a traffic intersection scenario.

Keywords: BDI aAgent, BDI4JADE framework, multiagent system, normative agents.

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331 The Implementation of the Multi-Agent Classification System (MACS) in Compliance with FIPA Specifications

Authors: Mohamed R. Mhereeg

Abstract:

The paper discusses the implementation of the MultiAgent classification System (MACS) and utilizing it to provide an automated and accurate classification of end users developing applications in the spreadsheet domain. However, different technologies have been brought together to build MACS. The strength of the system is the integration of the agent technology with the FIPA specifications together with other technologies, which are the .NET widows service based agents, the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services, the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), and Oracle Data Mining (ODM). The Microsoft's .NET widows service based agents were utilized to develop the monitoring agents of MACS, the .NET WCF services together with SOA approach allowed the distribution and communication between agents over the WWW. The Monitoring Agents (MAs) were configured to execute automatically to monitor excel spreadsheets development activities by content. Data gathered by the Monitoring Agents from various resources over a period of time was collected and filtered by a Database Updater Agent (DUA) residing in the .NET client application of the system. This agent then transfers and stores the data in Oracle server database via Oracle stored procedures for further processing that leads to the classification of the end user developers.

Keywords: MACS, Implementation, Multi-Agent, SOA, Autonomous, WCF.

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330 Specification of Agent Explicit Knowledge in Cryptographic Protocols

Authors: Khair Eddin Sabri, Ridha Khedri, Jason Jaskolka

Abstract:

Cryptographic protocols are widely used in various applications to provide secure communications. They are usually represented as communicating agents that send and receive messages. These agents use their knowledge to exchange information and communicate with other agents involved in the protocol. An agent knowledge can be partitioned into explicit knowledge and procedural knowledge. The explicit knowledge refers to the set of information which is either proper to the agent or directly obtained from other agents through communication. The procedural knowledge relates to the set of mechanisms used to get new information from what is already available to the agent. In this paper, we propose a mathematical framework which specifies the explicit knowledge of an agent involved in a cryptographic protocol. Modelling this knowledge is crucial for the specification, analysis, and implementation of cryptographic protocols. We also, report on a prototype tool that allows the representation and the manipulation of the explicit knowledge.

Keywords: Information Algebra, Agent Knowledge, CryptographicProtocols

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329 A New Approach for Mobile Agent Security

Authors: R. Haghighat far, H. Yarahmadi

Abstract:

A mobile agent is a software which performs an action autonomously and independently as a person or an organizations assistance. Mobile agents are used for searching information, retrieval information, filtering, intruder recognition in networks, and so on. One of the important issues of mobile agent is their security. It must consider different security issues in effective and secured usage of mobile agent. One of those issues is the integrity-s protection of mobile agents. In this paper, the advantages and disadvantages of each method, after reviewing the existing methods, is examined. Regarding to this matter that each method has its own advantage or disadvantage, it seems that by combining these methods, one can reach to a better method for protecting the integrity of mobile agents. Therefore, this method is provided in this paper and then is evaluated in terms of existing method. Finally, this method is simulated and its results are the sign of improving the possibility of integrity-s protection of mobile agents.

Keywords: Integrity, Mobile Agent, Security.

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328 Grid Coordination with Marketmaker Agents

Authors: Xin Bai, Kresimir Sivoncik, Damla Turgut, Ladislau Bölöni

Abstract:

Market based models are frequently used in the resource allocation on the computational grid. However, as the size of the grid grows, it becomes difficult for the customer to negotiate directly with all the providers. Middle agents are introduced to mediate between the providers and customers and facilitate the resource allocation process. The most frequently deployed middle agents are the matchmakers and the brokers. The matchmaking agent finds possible candidate providers who can satisfy the requirements of the consumers, after which the customer directly negotiates with the candidates. The broker agents are mediating the negotiation with the providers in real time. In this paper we present a new type of middle agent, the marketmaker. Its operation is based on two parallel operations - through the investment process the marketmaker is acquiring resources and resource reservations in large quantities, while through the resale process it sells them to the customers. The operation of the marketmaker is based on the fact that through its global view of the grid it can perform a more efficient resource allocation than the one possible in one-to-one negotiations between the customers and providers. We present the operation and algorithms governing the operation of the marketmaker agent, contrasting it with the matchmaker and broker agents. Through a series of simulations in the task oriented domain we compare the operation of the three agents types. We find that the use of marketmaker agent leads to a better performance in the allocation of large tasks and a significant reduction of the messaging overhead.

Keywords: grid computing, autonomous agents, market-basedgrid

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