Secure Knowledge Query Manipulation Language: a security infrastructure for agent communication languages

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Despite the security and privacy concerns that agents could encounter whenever they cross multiple administrative domains, the agent communication languages standards lack the necessary constructs that enable secure cooperation among software agents. We propose Secure Knowledge Query Manipulation Language (SKQML) as a security infrastructure for KQMLspeaking agents. SKQML enables KQML-speaking agents to authenticate one another, implement specific security policies based on authorization schemes, and, whenever needed, ensure the privacy of the messages exchanged. SKQML is simple, extensible, and at a level appropriate for intelligent communicating agents. In addition, SKQML employs public-key cryptographic standards and provides security mechanisms as an integral part of the communication language. This paper details the synthesis of public key certificate standards and agent communication languages to achieve an infrastructure that meets the security needs of cooperating agents with detailed examples using a partial prototype implementation of this infrastructure.


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agent, kqml, multi-agent systems, security

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