Verifying that Agents Implement a Communication Language

Michael Wooldridge, Queen Mary & Westfield College

In recent years, a number of attempts have been made to develop standardized agent communication languages. A key issue in such languages is that of conformance testing. That is, given a program which claims to semantically conform to some agent communication standard, how can we determine whether or not it does indeed conform to it? In this article, we present an expressive agent communication language, and give a semantics for this language in such a way that verifying semantic conformance becomes a realistic possibility. The techniques we develop draw upon those used to give a semantics to reactive systems in theoretical computer science. To illustrate the approach, we give an example of a simple agent system, and show that it does indeed respect the semantics.

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