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Opportunities to support the widespread adoption of software agent technologies

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Abstract

This article discusses our main thoughts regarding the current state of adoption of software agent technologies, their possible future evolution and a few desirable improvements in the overall connection to the software industry at large. Moreover, it tries to suggest a few concrete action lines along which the agent community can drive its efforts in order to effectively support the widespread adoption of agent concepts and techniques in software engineering.

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... The wider industrial adoption of agent technologies is also hindered by a number of other factors [126,55,56,128,21]. One factor is that mainstream (including object-oriented) practices, standards and tools need to be integrated 13 with agent-oriented practices, standards and tools. ...
... In a special session at AAMAS 2008, leading MAS researchers and engineers were asked to discuss the obstacles currently impeding industrial adoption of MAS technology. While there were a variety of opinions, Georgeff (2009) and DeLoach (2009a) suggested that standard definitions of agent concepts and agent-oriented methodologies are one of the keys to advancing MAS into the mainstream while Winikoff (2009) and Calisti and Rimassa (2009) both argued for producing concrete tools to support MAS techniques and methodologies. Odell et al. (2001) advise that acceptance of any new technology requires techniques to reduce the inherent risk of that technology. ...
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The complexity and scope of software systems continues to grow. One approach to dealing with this growing complexity is the use of intelligent, multi-agent systems. However, due in part to its relative infancy when compared to other software paradigms, the use of multi-agent systems has yet to be used extensively in industry. One reason is the lack of industrial strength methods and tools to support multi-agent development. This paper presents the organisation-based multi-agent software engineering (O-MaSE) methodology framework, which integrates a set of concrete technologies aimed at facilitating industrial acceptance. Specifically, O-MaSE is a customisable agent-oriented methodology based on consistent, well-defined concepts supported by plug-ins to an industrial strength development environment, agentTool III.
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