Facilitating Interaction Between Virtual Agents Through Negotiation Over Ontological Representation

Facilitating Interaction Between Virtual Agents Through Negotiation Over Ontological Representation

Fiona McNeill (Heriot-Watt University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7766-9.ch012

Abstract

Fluent, effortless, and diverse e-business transactions depend on the ability of automated agents to interact. The difficulties of tailoring representation and information to be consistent and therefore interoperable needs to fall not on human users but on these automated agents. In this chapter, the authors present their system, ORS (ontology repair system), which is designed to be a tool for automated agents, acting on behalf of people or systems which need to interact, to enable them to understand one another, despite the fact that they are not centrally or consistently designed.
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Background

In a system such as the Semantic Web, where there is no centralised control, we cannot have a complete global overview of the agents and data in the system. Agents may join and leave the system freely and they will all have their own ontologies and data that may be large and complex and may be confidential. We cannot hope for a complete description of the relations between every agent in the system. Our approach is therefore not to consider how such a system can be controlled but how an individual agent can successfully make its way in such a system, interacting with the agents that it needs to interact with, even if these agents are not using the same ontological terms or representations, and even if it is not known in advance of the interaction which agents these will be.

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