ACM CIKM Intelligent Information Agents Workshop

On Agent Domains, Agent Names and Proxy Agents

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We consider the problem of how agents should be named and what kind of software infrastructure is necessary in order to locate an agent given only its name. We assume an agent environment which (1) is dynamic with agents being created and destroyed frequently; (2) undergoes re-organizations with agent groups and sub-groups forming and disbanding; and (3) supports agent communication by any of several transport mechanisms such as TCP/IP, email, http and distributed object systems. This leads us to propose the establishment of agent domains which are organized into an agent domain hierarchy. Agent name resolution can be done by agent name servers, analogous to Internet domain name servers. One of the additional benefits from this approach is that it easily supports the definition of proxy agents. We sketch how this proposal would impact the KQML agent communication language and protocol and describe an ongoing implementation of a generic KQML Agent Name Server and its integration into the KATS framework.

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