Formal Specification Language for Agent Oriented Systems

Formal Specification Language for Agent Oriented Systems

Vinitha Hannah Subburaj (Baldwin Wallace University, USA) and Joseph E. Urban (Texas Tech University, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch404
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This section describes related work that exists in applying formal methods to specify software systems in specific agent oriented software systems. The state of the art with respect to the agent oriented software specification is also described in this section.

de Vries et al. (de Vries et al., 2001) introduced a new operational model of agents that describes the interaction of agents with each other and with the environment. An agent is viewed as a program that has a state. An agent’s state has two parts: a sense buffer that is used to store the observed and communicated information, and the mental state that consists of a set of mental formulas. Kinny (Kinny, 2001) introduced an algebraic approach that describes the operational semantics of agent computation. Kinny defined agents as a strong encapsulation of beliefs, intentions, and plans. The agent interacts with the environment using two interfaces namely: sensors and effectors. The framework defined by Kinny follows an algebraic approach. The computation specified in the algebraic approach is kept separate from the agent’s program. Bosse et al. (Bosse et al., 2006) proposed the predicate logic Temporal Trace Language (TTL) for formally specifying multi-agent systems. Both quantitative and qualitative aspects of agent systems were specified using the Temporal Trace Language.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Descartes Specification Language: A specification language designed to be used throughout the software life cycle. The relationship between the input and the output of a system is functionally specified when using this specification language. Descartes defines the input data and output data and then relates them in such a way that output data becomes a function of input data. The data structuring methods used with this language are known as Hoare trees.

Specification Language Processor: A program used to interpret and translate specifications written using a specification language (Descartes specification language with respect to this article).

Formal Methods: The use of formal methods in software specification is an approach of using mathematical rules and a fixed set of syntax and semantics to formally specify the behavior of a system.

Specification Language: A language with a predefined set of symbols, syntax, and semantics to specify the requirements of a software system.

Agent Methodologies: An agent is a computer program with certain characteristics and behavioral properties to achieve a task. Agent methodologies deal with software development practices involved while developing these agent systems.

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