4th International conference on Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages

TKQML: A Scripting Tool for Building Agents

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Tcl/Tk is an attractive language for the design of intelligent agents because it allows the quick construction of prototypes and user interfaces; new scripts can easily be bound at runtime to respond to events; and execution state is encapsulated by the interpreter, which helps in agent migration. However a system of intelligent agents must share a common language for communicating requests and knowledge. We have integrated KQML (Knowledge Query Manipulation Language), one such standard language into Tcl/Tk. The resulting system, called TKQML, provides several benefits to those building intelligent systems. First, TKQML allows easy integration of existing tools have Tcl/Tk interfaces with an agent system by using Tcl to move information between KQML and the application. Second, TKQML is an excellent language with which to build agents, allowing on-the-fly specification of message handlers and construction of graphical interfaces. This paper describes the implementation of TKQML and discusses its use in our intelligent agent system for information retrieval.

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