Agent Patterns
Due to lack of participation, this workshop has been cancelled.

What Are We About?
For some, the term agent means "autonomous, intelligent agent". While for others agent simply means smart object. To add to the confusion, many agent frameworks are developed using an object-oriented language, such as Java. All religious debates aside, there are undeniable links between agents and objects. Many of the problems that agent system and framework developers face have their roots in problems familiar to those in the object-oriented programming community. Therefore, the agent community should be able to benefit from the current set of object-oriented patterns as well as those unique to its own particular environment. The reverse may also be true for the object-oriented community.

Have you tried to apply an object-oriented pattern in your agent systems? Have you written an agent pattern? Have you extended a pattern for application in both the object and agent communities? Have you tried to organize patterns for your agent system? Are you interested in learning more about agent patterns and contributing a new one yourself?

If you can say 'yes' in response to any of the above questions, then you will want to consider attending the workshop on agent patterns, to be offered as a part of ChiliPLoP99. Read on for answers to these questions about the Hot Topic workshop:

What Will We Do?
Our goals are to examine the relationships between agent and object patterns and explore patterns specifically for designing agents and agent-based systems. Our primary means toward this end will be to learn by doing. We will review and discuss existing agent patterns and  attempt to position them within the space of all patterns by determining their roles and by distinguishing them from object-oriented patterns. We will decide if modifications are required to the pattern template to support agent patterns. We will propose agent pattern languages for future elaboration and extension  and then develop and workshop new  patterns for these languages.  We will work together for much of the workshop to create these artifacts, although small groups will be selected to focus on selected topics based on the requests to participate and the strengths and interests of the selected participants.

In the end, our artifacts may or may not prove useful beyond the workshop itself. But, even if they are not, we will have learned something about agent patterns and how to promote there use,  and will increase our chances of succeeding in future attempts.

How Will We Do It?
Our initial plan for the workshop is given below. Once participants in the workshop have been identified, they will engage in discussion to tailor the goals, activities, and schedule of the workshop to their own strengths and interests.

Pre-Workshop Preparation
  • Applicants submit requests to participate, with pointers to materials they use.
  • Selected participants review materials submitted by others and engage in e-mail discussion to frame issues of interest for the workshop, especially potential focus topics.
Day 1
  • A short opening session to introduce workshop participants to one another.
  • Readers workshop on existing agent patterns, followed by discussions on their relationships to object-oriented patterns and what makes a good agent pattern.
  • Early attempt to define pattern languages for agents
  • Break-out sessions to begin work on patterns, pattern languages for the focus topics.
Day 2
  • Define the agent pattern template
  • Discuss how to develop and extend agent patterns so that they are applicable to object-oriented systems
  • Discuss how to develop and extend object-oriented patterns so that they are applicable to agent systems
  • Expand and enhance the pattern languages for agents
  • Break-out sessions to continue work on patterns, pattern languages for the focus topics.
Day 3
  • Workshop the materials developed the preceding two days for the focus topics. This is the climax of the workshop.
  • A short open forum to "workshop" the workshop, to summarize what we have achieved and what open questions remain, and to plan for future activities to develop the area and disseminate results.
Who Should Participate?
We hope to attract 6-8 highly motivated and experienced agent system and framework developers, pattern writers, and architects to work on this hot topic at ChiliPLoP. To this end, we invite requests to participate from:
  • individuals who have previously written agent patterns
  • individuals who do research, whether in academia or industry, on agents
  • pattern writers who are interested in writing agent patterns that enhance or extend object-oriented pattern counterparts
How Do I Apply?
Submit a request to participate by e-mail to Dwight Deugo by Friday, January 15, 1999. You may submit ASCII text, HTML, or a URL where we can find your submission. Your proposal should be three to five pages long and might include one or more of the following:
  • A description of an agent pattern template
  • A  new agent pattern.
  • An extension to an existing pattern making it appropriate for application with agents
  • A draft outline of an agent pattern language
If you are invited to participate, you will be expected to:
  • Participate in e-mail discussion prior to the workshop that tailors the goals and activities of the workshop to the selected participants.
  • Prepare for the workshop by reviewing other participants' resources.
  • Come to ChiliPLoP prepared to participate actively and to help achieve the workshop goals.
What Are The Important Dates?
The dates to watch for are:
January 15, 1999
Submit your request to participate by this date.
January 20, 1999
We notify all applicants whether they have been accepted to participate or not. Workshop participants commence e-mail discussion to tailor the goals and activities of the workshop.
February 23, 1999
We will make all resources submitted by the participants available on the web for reading and discussion.
March 16-19, 1999
We gather at the Wickenburg Inn and (set out to) accomplish our goals!
How Do I Find Out More?
For more on the ideas behind this workshop, feel free to contact the workshop organizer:

Dwight Deugo
School of Computer Science
Carleton University
Ottawa, Ontario,
Canada, K1S 5B6
[email protected]

Note: PLoP is a trademark of The Hillside Group, Inc.