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P907  MESSAGE: Methodology for Engineering Systems of Software Agents


Final Guidelines for the Identification of Relevant Problem Areas where Agent Technology is Appropriate

Issue date: September  2001
Confidentiality: For full publication
Format: 1 volume (34 pages)

EURESCOM project P907 has defined a methodology called MESSAGE (Methodology for Engineering systems of software agents) that covers the analysis and design activities of the software engineering lifecycle. The main project results are: guidelines on the applicability of the agent-oriented approach, the MESSAGE methodology itself, and recommendations regarding software tools to support the methodology. The methodology has been evaluated by applying it to case study problems, and a prototype software tool has been developed to illustrate the tool recommendations.

This project report begins with a summary of the project objectives and results, and then focuses on describing applicability guidelines that help identify problems for which an agent based solution is appropriate. It starts by introducing the field of software engineering in general, and agent oriented software engineering more specifically. Software agents are then indirectly defined by presenting a number of characteristics which software components must or may exhibit in order to be called agents. A set of guidelines are then proposed to be used as criteria to identify situations in which agent-based solutions should be considered. Finally, examples of problems for which an agent approach is appropriate are presented.


Software engineering personnel at the EURESCOM shareholder companies who are developing, or considering developing Multi-Agent Systems should read this report.

Archive: /pub/deliverables/documents/p900-series/p907/D2/