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See detailA Middleware for modeling Organizations and Roles in Jade
Baldoni, Matteo UL; Boella, Guido UL; Genovese, Valerio UL et al

in Proceedings of PROMAS (2009)

Organizations and roles are often seen as mental constructs, good to be used during the design phase in Multi Agent Systems, but they have also been considered as first class citizens in MAS, when ... [more ▼]

Organizations and roles are often seen as mental constructs, good to be used during the design phase in Multi Agent Systems, but they have also been considered as first class citizens in MAS, when objective coordination is needed. Roles facilitate the coordination of agents inside an organization, and they give new abilities in the context of organizations, called powers, to the agents which satisfy the necessary requirements to play them. No general purpose programming languages for multiagent systems offer primitives to program organizations and roles as instances existing at runtime, so, in this paper, we propose our extension of the Jade framework, with Java primitives to program organizations structured in roles, and to enable agents to play roles in organizations. We provide classes and protocols which enable an agent to enact a new role in an organization, to interact with the role by invoking the execution of powers, and to receive new goals to be fulfilled. Roles and organizations can be on a different platform with respect to the role players, and communication is protocol-based. Since they can have complex behaviours, they are implemented by extending the Jade agent class. Our aim is to give to programmers a middle tier, built on the Jade platform, useful to solve with minimal implementative effort many coordination problems, and to offer a first, implicit, management of norms and sanctions. [less ▲]

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See detailRelationships Meet Their Roles in Object Oriented Programming
Baldoni, Matteo UL; Boella, Guido UL; van der Torre, Leon UL

in International Symposium on Fundamentals of Software Engineering, International Symposium, FSEN 2007, Tehran, Iran, April 17-19 2007, Proceedings (2007)

In this paper we study how roles can be added to patterns modelling relationships in Object Oriented programming. Relationships can be introduced in programming languages either by reducing them to ... [more ▼]

In this paper we study how roles can be added to patterns modelling relationships in Object Oriented programming. Relationships can be introduced in programming languages either by reducing them to attributes of the objects which participate in the relationship, or by modelling the relationship itself as a class whose instances have the participants of the relationships among their attributes. However, even if roles have been recognized as an essential component of relationships, also in modelling languages like UML, they have not been introduced in Object Oriented programming when it is necessary to model relationships. Introducing roles allows to add attributes and behaviors to the participants in the relationship, rather than to the relationship itself, and to distinguish the natural types of the participants in the relationships from the roles the participants acquire in the relationships. We show how the role model of the language powerJava can be used to endow the relationship as attribute pattern with roles. [less ▲]

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See detailInteraction between Objects in powerJava
Baldoni, Matteo UL; Boella, Guido UL; van der Torre, Leon UL

in Journal of Object Technology (2007), 6(2),

In this paper we start from the consideration that high level interaction between entities like web services has very different properties with respect to the interaction between objects at the lower ... [more ▼]

In this paper we start from the consideration that high level interaction between entities like web services has very different properties with respect to the interaction between objects at the lower level of programming languages in the object oriented paradigm. In particular, web services, for security, usability and user adaptability reasons, offer different operations to different users by means of access control and keep track of the state of the interaction with each user by means of sessions. The current vision in object orientation, instead, considers attributes and operations of objects as being objective and independent from the interaction with another object, which is sessionless. To introduce these features in the interaction between objects directly in object oriented programming languages, we take inspiration from how access control is regulated by means of roles. Roles allow objects to offer different operations depending on the type of the role, of the type and identity of the player of the role, and to define session-aware interaction. We start from a definition of roles given in ontologies and knowledge representation and we discuss how this definition of roles can be introduced in Java, building our language powerJava [less ▲]

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See detailBridging Agent Theory and Object Orientation: Agent-Like Communication Among Objects
Baldoni, Matteo UL; Boella, Guido UL; van der Torre, Leon UL

in Programming Multi-Agent Systems, 4th International Workshop, ProMAS 2006, Hakodate, Japan, May 9, 2006, Revised and Invited Papers (2007)

This paper begins with the comparison of the message- sending mechanism, for communication among agents, and the method-invocation mechanism, for communication among objects. Then, we describe an ... [more ▼]

This paper begins with the comparison of the message- sending mechanism, for communication among agents, and the method-invocation mechanism, for communication among objects. Then, we describe an extension of the method-invocation mechanism by introducing the notion of “sender” of a message, “state” of the interaction and “protocol” using the notion of “role”, as it has been introduced in the powerJava extension of Java. The use of roles in communication is shown by means of an example of protocol. [less ▲]

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See detailAdding Roles to Relationship Patterns
Baldoni, Matteo UL; Boella, Guido UL; van der Torre, Leon UL

in Proceedings of WOA07 (2007)

In this paper we study how roles can be added to patterns modelling relationships in Object Oriented programming, and which new relationship patterns can be introduced using roles. Relationships can be ... [more ▼]

In this paper we study how roles can be added to patterns modelling relationships in Object Oriented programming, and which new relationship patterns can be introduced using roles. Relationships can be introduced in programming languages either by reducing them to attributes of the objects which participate in the relationship, or by modelling the relationship itself as a class whose instances have the participants of the relationships among their attributes. However, even if roles have been recognized as an essential component of relationships, also in modelling languages like UML, they have not been introduced in Object Oriented programming when it is necessary to model relationships. Introducing roles allows to add attributes and behaviors to the participants in the relationship, rather than to the relationship itself, and to distinguish natural types as classes participating in the relationships from the roles the participants acquire in the relationships. In this paper we show how the role model proposed in powerJava can be used to endow relationships with roles, both in the relationship as attribute and in the relationship object pattern. Finally, since these patterns have different advantages and limitations, we propose a third pattern based on roles which benefits from the advantages of the two previous patterns when modelling relationships. [less ▲]

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See detailRoles in Coordination and in Agent Deliberation: A Merger of Concepts
Baldoni, Matteo UL; Boella, Guido UL; Genovese, Valerio UL et al

in Proceedings of AWESOME07 (2007)

In this paper we generalize and merge two models of roles used in multiagent systems which address complementary aspects: enacting roles and communication among roles in an organization or institution. We ... [more ▼]

In this paper we generalize and merge two models of roles used in multiagent systems which address complementary aspects: enacting roles and communication among roles in an organization or institution. We do this by proposing a metamodel of roles and specializing the metamodel to fit two existing models. We show how the two approaches can be integrated since they deal with complementary aspects: [1] focuses on roles as a way to specify interactions among agents, and, thus, it emphasizes the public character of roles. [2] focuses instead on how roles are played, and thus it emphasizes the private aspects of roles: how the beliefs and goals of the roles become the beliefs and goals of the agents. The former approach focuses on the dynamics of roles in function of the communication process. The latter approach focuses on the internal dynamics of the agents when they start playing a role or shift the role they are currently playing. [less ▲]

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See detailModelling the Interaction Between Objects: Roles as Affordances
Baldoni, Matteo UL; Boella, Guido UL; van der Torre, Leon UL

in Knowledge Science, Engineering and Management, First International Conference, KSEM 2006 (2006)

In this paper we present a new vision of objects in ontologies where the objects’ attributes and operations depend on who is interacting with them. This vision is based on a new definition of the notion ... [more ▼]

In this paper we present a new vision of objects in ontologies where the objects’ attributes and operations depend on who is interacting with them. This vision is based on a new definition of the notion of role, which is inspired by the concept of affordance as developed in cognitive science. The current vision of objects considers attributes and operations as being objective and independent from the interaction. In contrast, in our model interaction with an object always passes through a role played by another object manipulating it. The advantage is that roles allow to define operations whose behavior changes depending on the role and the requirements it imposes, and to define session aware interaction, where the role maintains the state of the interaction with an object. Finally, we provide a description of the model in UML and we discuss how roles as affor- dances have been introduced in Java [less ▲]

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