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Agents, KQML and Knowledge Sharing

February 1997

This file is a list of items added to the UMBC agents pages this month and is in maintained chronological order.
1999: July,
1998: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, June, July, Aug,
1997: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec,
1996: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec,
1995: Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec.

Intelligent Interfaces

Annika Wærn of SICS has made available notes from an introductory seminar on What is an Intelligent Interface? given in March 1997. The notes cover What is not an intelligent interface?, Scope of intelligent interfaces, State of the Art in Intelligent Interfaces, Application areas for Intelligent Interfaces, Tools and Techniques for Intelligent Interfaces and Design Considerations for Intelligent Interfaces. It also includes references and links to additional material. 2/27/97

Let KQML do the shopping?

The March issue of Computer Shopper had an article on KQML and software agents. KQML at Your Service, Stephen W. Plain. "The autonomous agent is one of the hottest and most promising advances in computing..."

European Conference on Planning

Sam Steel ( reports that the Fourth European Conference on Planning (formerly the European Workshop on Planning) will be held 24/25/26 September 1997 in Toulouse, France. The workshop proceedings will be published shortly after the workshop in book form by the international publisher Springer-Verlag, as part of the well-known Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence series. Topics of interest include multi-agent planning. Submission deadline : 3 May 1997. 2/24/97

Kali Scheme

Kali Scheme is a distributed implementation of Scheme developed at the NEC Research Institute that permits efficient transmission of higher-order objects such as closures and continuations. The integration of distributed communication facilities within a higher-order programming language engenders a number of new abstractions and paradigms for distributed computing, including user-specified load-balancing and migration policies for threads, incrementally-linked distributed computations, and parameterized client-server applications. See Software can be downloaded .

Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind

Did you ever wonder what a zombie running a chinese room on Twin-earth would be like? If you are a bit uncertain, you might want to consult the Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind which is being compiled by Chris Eliasmith (Department of Philosophy of Washington University in St. Louis). It is intended "as a free resource to all those interested in the philosophy of mind." He is " especially interested in receiving submissions to the dictionary so it will grow uncontrollably - and become actually useful." 2/24/97

Tubular mobile code

The Tube is a mobile code system developed by David Halls ( It is a portable platform for the remote execution of Scheme programs. Programs (or REPs for Remotely Executable Programs) can be written which will run on any machine in a heterogenous network of computers. Further details are available in: There is a Netscape plug-in that allows "Tubelets" to be referred to from inside WWW pages. The plugin forwards Tubelets onto a REP-site for execution. 2/24/97


The copy of what's new from February was inadvertently clobbered on 2/14. The most recent backup copy that could be found was from 2/4. So, some items were lost. If anyone has any record of what they were (e.g., from a cache or printed copy) please let me ( know. Oh well... 2/20/97

Constraints and Agents

The AAAI-97 Workshop on Constraints and Agents will focus on research at the interface of constraint and agent technology. It will encompass both the modeling of agent issues, e.g. negotiation, as constraint satisfaction and optimization problems, and the use of agents to solve constraint satisfaction and optimization problems, e.g. distributed scheduling problems. It will concern both hardware agents and software agents. Submit postscript electronically to the Logistics Chair by March 11, 1997. 2/4/97

Unicom agents seminars

UNICOM Seminars is running two events on Intelligent Agents in March 1997:
  • 17 March 1997 - Agent Theory and IUI Tutorial - led by Pattie Maes, MIT Media Lab & Jim Alty., Loughborough University.
  • 18 March 1997 - Working with Agents - Speakers include: Mike Wooldridge, Zuno Ltd; Christine Guilfoyle, The Trefoyle Partnership; Innes Ferguson, Zuno Ltd; Mike Lynch, AutoNomy; Dieter Wenger, Swiss Bank.

Swarm 1.0.0 out

The Sante Fe Institute has released Swarm version 1.0.0 It's available via the web pages ( or by ftp ( This release is primarily a cleanup of the previous beta releases to provide a stable version as the first production release of Swarm. Additional demo applications and documentation have also been added. 2/4/97

LiveAgent Agent Creator

AgentSoft has released a beta version of the LiveAgent personal agent builder. Creating your own Java agent is as simple as browsing. Build your agent by going through a regular browsing session --- LiveAgent records what you have done, creating an agent that can then be replayed. Agents can be "trained" to perform routine tasks on the Web and can generate user-defined browsing reports. Agents can be further customized after creation by setting parameters on launch. LiveAgent comes with SearchAgent -- a prerecorded Java agent that does multi-site Web searches. SearchAgent takes a query from the user, goes to several search engines (such as Yahoo, Lycos, and Excite) in parallel, sorts the results, removes duplicates, and returns a ranked, consolidated list of sites. The search can be customized, with the user specifying filtering criteria (e.g., which Internet domains to search), which search engines to visit, sorting criteria, and stopping conditions. LiveAgent Pro, an agent software development kit for Java programmers will be released in 1Q97 and will include Java classes, templates, and sample code that speeds the development of agent applications. 2/4/97

Agents At Large

Agents At Large , Peter Wayner, AP Professional ISBN 0-12-738765-X. $39.95. (originally known as "Agents Unleashed") is "an introduction to field of building secure realms where mobile agents can flourish and do useful work. The book describes how agents can efficiently travel the network and solve problems on a distant host. The book includes an experimental system built upon the LISP language as well as a discussion of many of the important technology needed to build a secure realm.". 2/2/97

Open Intelligent Agent Platforms and Protocols

The Agent Society is sponsoring a 1 1/2 day workshop to follow AA'97 on Open Intelligent Agent Platforms and Protocols. The workshop will be held at the Marina Beach Marriot Hotel in Marina del Rey on Sundry and Monday, February 9th and 10th. The purpose is to pull together interested parties to produce a "Standards Roadmap for Open Agent Platforms, Communication and Interoperability." There is no charge for the workshop; but space is limited and registration is requested. An informal "IETF BOF" style will be used. The Agent Society is a new organization to facilitate cooperation, and information exchange among the agent community and the public, and will hold an organizational meeting on Sunday evening, February 9th. 2/2/97

FIPA specs

The first draft of FIPA '97 specification for generic agent technologies was produced at the recent 4th FIPA meeting. Initial specifications for three technology parts (Agent Management, Agent Communication and Agent/Software Interaction) and one application part (Personal Travel Assistance) have been produced. Three more application parts (Personal Assistant, Audio-Visual Entertainment and Broadcasting, and Network Provisioning and Management) will be generated at the Fifth FIPA meeting to be held in Reston, Virginia on 14-18 April. 2/2/97

Microcosm and agents

The Multimedia Research Group, at the University of Southampton has been developing Microcosm, an open and extensible hypermedia architecture since 1990. Some recent agents-related papers are A Mobile Agent Architecture to Support Distributed Resource Information Management, Dale J, 1996, (PhD thesis), Agents for Distributed Multimedia Information Management, De Roure D, Hall W, Davis H, Dale J, 1996 ( PAAM'96 paper), and Achieving User Interface Heterogeneity in a Distributed Environment, Dale J, 1996 (ECSTR M96/1). 2/2/97

Intelligent User Interfaces

The 1998 International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces will be held January 6-9, 1998 in San Francisco, California USA. Suggested topics include adaptive and customizable user interfaces; intelligent agents and agent-based interaction; architectures for intelligent, cooperative, distributed, and multimodal interfaces; evaluation of intelligent and agent-based interfaces; cognitive user modeling; intelligent front-ends to interactive, multimedia, hypermedia, or knowledge-based systems; Submissions are due on July 1, 1997. 2/1/97

Autonomous Agents '98

The preliminary announcement for the Second International Conference on Autonomous Agents (Agents '98) is available. Agents'98 will be held in Minneapolis/St. Paul, on May 10-13, 1998. 2/1/97

Agent Mobility and Communication

The 31st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences will contain a minitrack on agents entitled Agent Mobility and Communication in January 1998. A 300-word abstract should be submitted by by March 17 with a full paper due by June 2. 2/1/97

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