Using software abstraction to develop an agent based system.

OTHMAN, Zulaiha Ali. (2004). Using software abstraction to develop an agent based system. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The main contribution of the thesis is to present a systematic process to develop an agent-based system that assists a system developer to construct the required system, through a series of modelling activities, employing several levels of abstraction to show the milestones and produce intermediate deliverables. Current practice emphasises "downstream activities" such as implementation at the expense of "upstream activities" such as "modelling". The research has found that the development process for an agent system consists of three phases: agent system development, agent environment development and agent system deployment. The first and second phases represent an intertwined spiral model. All three phases themselves consist of three stages. Each phase employs different development techniques and each stage uses appropriate models and tools such as problem domain model, agent use cases, scenarios, agent system architecture, plan model and individual agent model.The proposed agent development method is applied to two case studies: a Filtering Agent System and Diabetic Consultation System. Both systems have been implemented and tested. Three distinct ways were used to evaluate the proposed method. First, comparing with the criteria of a methodology. Second, comparing it with the current agent-oriented methodologies. Third, informal observations from a potential user community.In conclusion, the research has demonstrated an effective synthesising process to build a set of agent concepts, development life-cycle and modelling to show a systematic process for developing agent systems. Moreover, by employing a whole host of software abstraction tools and techniques in the process, two benefits accrue: the introduction of more 'up stream' activities as well as placing modelling at the heart of the process. Illustratively, we could say that the modelling presented here does for agent systems what data flow diagram and data entity diagram have done for structured methodologies, i.e. raise the level of abstraction employed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2004.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:21
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:21
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20155

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