Knowledge Engineering Review

Introduction to the special issue on ontologies in agent systems

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IIt is now more than ten years since researchers in the US Knowledge Sharing Effort envisaged a future where complex systems could be built by combining knowledge and services from multiple knowledge bases and the first agent communication language, KQML, was proposed (Neches et al., 1991). This model of communication, based on speech acts, a declarative message content representation language and the use of explicit ontologies defining the domains of discourse (Genesereth & Ketchpel, 1994), has become widely recognised as having great benefits for the integration of disparate and distributed information sources to form an open, extensible and loosely coupled system. In particular, this idea has become a key tenet in the multi-agent systems research community.


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agent, multiagent system, ontology

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Cambridge University Press

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