COOL: A Language for Describing Coordination in Multi Agent Systems

Mihai Barbuceanu and Mark S. Fox

Agent interaction takes place at several levels. Current work in the ARPA Knowledge Sharing Effort has addressed the information content level by the KIF language and the intentional level by the KQML language. In this paper we address the coordination level by means of our Coordination Language (COOL) that relies on speech act based communication, but integrates it in a structured conversmion framework that captures the coordination mechanisms agents use when working together. We are currently using this language (i) to represent coordination mechanisms for the supply chain of manufacturing enterprises modeled as intelligent agents and (ii) as an environ-ment for designing and validating coordination protocols for multi-agent systems. This paper describes the basic elements of this language: conversation objects, conversation rules, error recovery rules, continuation rules, conversation nesting. The actual COOL source code and a running trace for the n-queeus problem are presented in the Appendix.


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