Agent Working Group
Minutes: Craig Thompson
OMG Document internet/99-03-03
OMG Agent WG homepage: http://www.objs.com/isig/agents.html
Craig Thompson recorded the minutes.
43 attendees signed the attendance sheet:
Bruce Ambler , Lucent Technologies , firstname.lastname@example.org
Conrad Bock , Intellicorp , email@example.com
Bill Branch , Computer Sciences , firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Brennan , Teltec DCU , email@example.com
Brian Carroll , MERANT , firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan Dale , Fujitsu , email@example.com
Graham Dooley , Raytheon , firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Elenko , Xenotrope , email@example.com
Peter Fingar , EC Cubed ,
Cristian Francu , Rutgers University ,
F. Karl Gardner , Raytheon ,
Sanjeev Goyal , Xerox ,
Michael Gurevich , Concorde Solutions ,
Jeffrey Hertzberg , Xenotrope ,
Dan Hodnett , NetGenics ,
Joaquin Keller , France Telecom-CNET ,
David Kerr , Broadcom Eireann Research ,
Ichizo Kogiku , Nippon Telegraph and Telephone ,
Jeffrey Kurtz , MITRE/Open Systems Center ,
Heimo Laamanen , Sonera , firstname.lastname@example.org
David Levine , International Business Machines ,
Peter Maccallum , Synomics ,
Greg Mack , Booz, Allen & Hamilton ,
David Mattox , MITRE/Open Systems Center ,
Francis McCabe , Fujitsu ,
Stephen McConnell , OSM ,
Christine McKenna , Christine McKenna, Inc. ,
Mohammad Moghadam , Bellcore ,
Waseem Naqvi , Raytheon ,
James Odell , Intellicorp , email@example.com
Gordon Palumbo , Xenotrope ,
Adolf Pleyer , SAP AG ,
John Propper , NetVendor Systems ,
Kimmo Raatikainen , University of Helsinki ,
Shridhar Rangarajan , EC Cubed ,
William Robinson , GTE Laboratories ,
Paul Runyan , Nokia ,
Chris Rygaard , Ad Astra Engineering ,
Gwynne Spencer , Citigroup , firstname.lastname@example.org
Mason Taube , Litton PRC , email@example.com
Eric Tavela , Unisys , firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Thomas , Southwestern Bell , email@example.com
Craig Thompson , Object Services and Consulting ,
which is accessible from the OMG homepage via the ECDTF and Internet SIG
Agent Technology RFI,
Craig Thompson, OBJS
On Monday we reviewed the Agent Technology RFI (see Agent WG homepage)
page-by-page for an hour and a half and accepted a number of revisions.
The revisions were added to the document Monday night and a new draft issued
for review at Tuesday’s meeting. James Odell motioned to recommend the
RFI to the DTC and Chris Rygaard (Ad Astra) seconded. We determined we
were quorate with 13 companies. The vote was 8 FOR and 1 ABSTAIN. The motion
PASSED. The RFI then progressed to DTC vote on Friday 3/26/99 where the
vote passed. This means the current version of the document will be released
to industry. The new document number is ec/99-03-10.
Agent Technology Green Paper,
James Odell led the discussion of the current draft of the Agent Technology
Green Paper (see Agent WG homepage). The main discussion on Monday
covered the Table of Contents and additions to make it parallel the Agent
Technology RFI so the mapping of what is submitted to what section of the
green paper it goes in is as direct as possible. See the Agents WG Homepage
for latest versions of this document. The pre-assigned document number
for the revised document is ec/99-03-14. Watch Agent WG homepage
for the update.
OMG-FIPA Liaison Proposal,
Craig Thompson, OBJS
We reviewed the OMG-FIPA Liaison Proposal (see Agent WG homepage),
made some revisions, then voted to recommend this document to the OMG Liaison
Subcommittee. Craig Thompson participated in the Liaison Subcommittee meeting
held on 3/24/99 at dawn. The document was voted through with minor
changes. Henry Lowe (chair of the Liaison Subcommittee) took the
document to the Architecture Board for a third passing vote on Thursday.
The document number is liaison/93-03-03 (same as ec/99-03-12). The
next step is to send the document to FIPA as a resolution. FIPA meets
in April. If that passes, then the OMG Board will vote.
WG or SIG?
We discussed if, how, and when to escalate Agent WG to a SIG or TF. Consensus
was: we have sufficient participation, expertise, and technical progress
to justify a SIG (and possibly later a TF). We believe we should aim for
a platform SIG in August to coincide with the meeting where we are analyzing
RFI responses. That will require us to create an informational presentation
covering Agent Technology and our process for presentation to other OMG
groups at the Tokyo and San Jose meetings. McConnell has an initial presentation
and Odell and Thompson will revise that draft before the next meeting.
All willing to give briefings to other OMG groups are requested to do so.
In preparation for the move to SIG, we reviewed a
draft Mission Statement (see Agent WG homepage) that several of
us had drafted between the last and this meeting. We made some changes.
See the Agent WG homepage for the latest version ecdtf/99-03-13.
Agendas for Next Meetings (Tokyo and San
We will invite informational presentations for Tokyo and focus on reviewing
Agent Technology RFI responses for San Jose. The chairs will solicit
presentations. Very tentative agendas are posted on the Agent WG
FIPA Architecture Work in Progress,
Francis McCabe, Fujitsu
FIPA has around 50 member organizations. At the last FIPA meeting, the
idea of an agent architecture was formalized into a technical committee,
which Francis is heading. The idea is to say what the component pieces
are and how they fit together. Having an architecture makes it easier to
create agent platforms (services) and agent systems (collections of agents
that use an agent platform). They will say how you might build agents (not
prescriptive but a default way). FIPA architecture might be reified via
Java, IDL, UML and/or CORBA/services reifications. The timescale of the
FIPA architecture is aggressive. The next FIPA meeting is in Nice in a
few weeks, another is July 5-9. FIPA may be ready with an architecture
submission to the OMG RFI by August.
FIPA was originally concerned about the message definitions (interchange
formats, wire formats) between point A and B, not the shape or capabilities
of agent systems at A and B. But they have gradually moved to see a need
to specify common services at A and B. For instance, needing to know
what agents are there requires a directory service, which then requires
agent lifecycle services. And a security service. … The point brought out
was that FIPA is starting to see the need for OMG-like services so there
could be a dependency of agents on objects. But the reverse is possibly
true too, that OMA might get value out of adding agent capability to object
systems so that parts of the OMA might come to depend on agent technology.
Related, FIPA agent systems might not only want to depend on services but
also insure or guarantee system-wide properties (scalability, survivability,
reliability, evolvability, …)
This new abstract architecture work makes it potentially clearer how
FIPA work might map to OMG OMA. But some issues remain. One is, how do
you know if the umbrella of services is complete or not or over-specified?
What does it mean if some agent systems are light-weight providing few
services and others are heavy-weight but full-service (providing lots of
services). Can services be added on the fly to agent systems. What does
interoperability of agents and agent systems mean if this is the case?
COS Notification Q&A, Mike Greenberg,
Mike provided an overview of the notification service, which is an extension
of the Event Service in which Suppliers and Consumers connect to an event
channel via proxies using either push or pull style on either side.
The primary addition notification adds in extensions of proxy objects
is to add filters, which add constraints in a boolean constraint language.
Filters can be dynamically defined. Can have many filters on same proxy
which are OR-ed together. Or multiple constraints in one filter. Its easy
to navigate the proxy. The boolean grammar is an extension to the Trader
constraint language. Typically all proxies and filters are part of the
same address space. Example filter is a string "$.filterable_body.cost
> 5". In the absence of the security service, any process can modify any
filter. That is a generic property of CORBA. Also, they define a QoS framework,
especially related to reliability. Connection reliability remember states
persistently in case of server crash. Consumer is still logically connected
based on implementation specifically. Extended Trader Constraint Language
looks like complex conditionals. They do not support correlation in this
spec. Hitachi, Iona/NEC, Prism have implementations.
How is OCL related? OCL is a potential alternative. OCL is first order
but this is less. Events carry data, not just boolean.
Notification uses not only any events but typed events.
Supplier and Consumer Admins can share filters. This is good when a set
of consumers are similar and follow a similar policy.
A new RFP on Management of Channel Networks is in the works, being worked
in Telecom DTF.