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Agents, KQML and Knowledge Sharing

June 98

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.

Mind Matters

Mind Matters : Exploring the World of Artificial Intelligence, James Patrick Hogan, 381 pages, April 1998, Del Rey; ISBN: 0345412400. This is an introduction to and overview of AI by well known and popular Science fiction author James Hogan. he says "The result is not intended as a textbook for Ph.D.s to add to their shelves--scores of excellent ones have been written already, and I'm not somebody qualified to add to them. Neither is it a history of the field-- which has also been done superbly by other writers in a way that I couldn't hope to improve on. Rather, it's a mixture of background and techniques, with an emphasis of understanding _why_, but also with a historical thread running through--as the subtitle says, more of an amble around the world of AI, stopping to have a look at assorted things that I, personally, find of interest." 7/19/98

IBM Information Economies project

IBM has a research project on Information Economies supported by the the IBM Institute of Advanced Commerce. The project's goal is to "anticipate the likely behaviors of large-scale information economies, and to exploit this understanding to formulate design principles for agents and agent markets." Thie approach is to "model large, varied populations of agents employing a variety of economic protocols and adaptive utility-maximization algorithms. Combining analysis and simulation techniques, we observe the dynamic, collective behavior of this co-evolutionary system. Our theoretical efforts are coupled synergetically to the concurrent development of information economy prototypes, including an economy of competitive agents that efficiently retrieve information from the World Wide Web." Several recent papers are available. 7/1/98


BusinessBots is a start-up whose aim is to create "advanced ecommerce services and applications for systems involving multiple, interacting software agents." The company holds several patents in the optimization of automated negotiations and business processes in multiagent systems. BusinessBots is a member of a team which includes CommerceNet, Tesserae Information Systems, and Veo that was recently awarded a $5 million NIST Advanced Technology grant to design and deploy "Component Commerce" -- a new infrastructure for object-oriented electronic commerce call. The proposed work aims to create a foundation for the second generation of Internet commerce by developing the key enabling technologies for semantic interoperability, re-usability and multi-agent systems. 6/22/98

Internet Scale Event Notification

The Workshop on Internet Scale Event Notification will be held on July 13-14 at UC Irvine. WISEN aims to gather participants from industry and academia who are working on or researching Internet event notification systems and protocols. Communities interested in notification such as web authoring, instant messaging, buddy lists, workflow, and internet printing should find this workshop highly relevant. The workshop goals include developing a better understanding among the different communities of interest, improved definition of requirements for an event notification service, a better appreciation of the application domains that will benefit from an event notification service, and suggestions for fruitful research directions. The first day and a half will feature a single track of presentations from invited speakers and the last half day will consist of parallel breakout sessions. 6/22/98

Mobile Agents and Security

Mobile Agents and Security, Giovanni Vigna (Ed.), Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 1419, Springer-Verlag, ISBN 3-540-64792-9. Papers include Security Issues in Mobile Code Systems (Chess), Environmental Key Generation Towards Clueless Agents ( Riordan and Schneier), Language Issues in Mobile Program Security (Volpano and Smith), Protecting Mobile Agents Against Malicious Hosts (Sander and Tschudin), Safe, Untrusted Agents Using Proof-Carrying Code (Necula and Lee), Time Limited Blackbox Security: Protecting Mobile Agents From Malicious Hosts (Hohl), Authentication for Mobile Agents (Berkovits, Guttman, and Swarup), Cryptographic Traces for Mobile Agents (Vigna), D'Agents: Security in a Multiple-Language, Mobile-Agent System (Gray, Kotz, Cybenko, and Rus), A Security Model for Aglets (Karjoth, Lange, and Oshima), Signing, Sealing, and Guarding Java Objects (Gong and Schemers), The Safe-Tcl Security Model (Ousterhout, Levy, and Welch) and Web Browsers and Security (De Paoli, Dos Santos, and Kemmerer). 6/22/98


International Conference on User Modeling UM'99 will be held June 20-24, 1999 in Banff Centre, Banff Canada. Abstacts are due November 7, 1998. "User modeling has been found to enhance the effectiveness and usability of software systems in a wide variety of situations. A user model is an explicit representation of properties of a particular user. A system that constructs and consults user models can adapt diverse aspects of its performance to individual users." 6/22/98

Calculi for Mobile Processes

Calculi for Mobile Processes has lots of information theoretical work on mobile processes, including sections on on research groups and projects, individual researchers, software tools, papers and bibliographies. In the last category, two great resources are a selected bibliography mobile processes, a useful personally commented reading guide to the area put together by Kohei Honda and the Bibliography on Calculi for Mobile Processes by Bjorn Victor and Uwe Nestmann. 6/18/98

Google Search Engine

Google is a new search engine developed at Stanford which makes heavy use of the structure present in hypertext to crawl the web more efficiently and compute a measure of each pages "importance" or "quality". The current prototype has a full text and hyperlink database of more than 25 million pages. Google computes a "PageRank" measure for each page from the "citation graph" of the web. This is offered as an approximate measure of the page's "importance" or "quality" and query results can be sorted by it. The Stanford researchers define PageRank as follows:
    Assume page A has C(A) links emanating from it and has pages T1...Tn which point to it. The PageRank of a page A is given as follows:
      PR(A) = (1-d) + d*(PR(T1)/C(T1) +...+ PR(Tn)/C(Tn))
    where d is a damping factor (0<d<1) and usually set to 0.85.
Thus, a page can have a high PageRank if there are many pages that point to it, or if there are some pages that point to it and have a high PageRank. Details can be found in a recent paper: The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine, Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page, WW7, 1998. 6/17/98

Virtual FishTank

The Boston Computer Museum is about to unveil The Virtual FishTank(TM), a 2,200-square-foot virtual undersea world in which visitors create and interact with their own virtual fish to discover new insights into how complex living systems work. The exhibit is a collaboration with the MIT Media Lab and Nearlife Inc A high-speed network of 24 Sony PCs with graphic accelerator cards drive the display -- Twelve large projection screens forming windows into a 400-square-foot central tank, populated by over 100 brightly-colored, fish. At three "Build Your Own Fish" stations, visitors design their fish, telling it how to react to other fish, humans, food and temperature. When visitors are satisfied with their fish, they launch their creations into the tank, and then observe how the few simple rules they used to design their individual fish lead to complex behaviors and patterns for the entire ecosystem. The $1 million exhibition is being developed with a $600,000 grant from NSF and funding from the Kapor Family Foundation, Sun Microsystems, anonymous gifts.

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