With the arrival of Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) and its industry

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1 Knowedge-based Autonomous Agents for Pervasive Computing Using AgentLight Fernando L. Koch and John-Jues C. Meyer Utrecht University Project AgentLight is a mutiagent system-buiding framework targeting handhed and embedded computationa devices. AgentLight appications wi run in J2ME and J2SE environments using as itte as 128 KBytes of RAM. The patform provides a buit-in first-order ogic inference system and interface for agent management and communication. With the arriva of Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) and its industry support 1, 2, we can now create appications that run on commonpace pervasive computing devices, such as mobie phones or PDAs. Severa research groups are working on patforms for buiding inteigent agent appications for this environment 3, such as MicroFIPA 4, the Lightweight Extensibe Agent Patform (LEAP) 5, and our AgentLight patform 6. The interest in deveoping appications for sma devices is directy proportiona to the increasing avaiabiity of Java-based handheds. End users tend to avoid change whenever possibe. Therefore, it is in the market s interest to make appications avaiabe for desktops aso avaiabe on PDAs, mobie phones, and other portabe devices. Project concepts Concepts behind this project incude: IEEE Distributed Systems Onine Pubished by the IEEE Computer Society 2003 IEEE

2 The autonomous agent system infrastructure shoud work transparenty and shoud be interconnected either on a desktop computer or a mobie phone The appication s core code shoud run on J2SE and J2ME The system shoud be extensibe and configurabe enough to take fu advantage of a desktop s processing and memory power, whie its core shoud be tiny enough to fit in a mobie phone The running environment shoud have at east 256 Kbytes of RAM. The framework shoud compy with Foundation for Inteigent Physica Agents standards (http://www.fipa.org/) thus ensuring compatibiity and interoperabiity. FIPA is producing specifications for agent patforms providing abstract architecture, ife-cyce-reated aspects, agent management, and communication. Deveopment path We undertook this deveopment project using J2SE and J2ME. Due to practica reasons, we first used J2SE in a desktop environment but wrote the code based on J2ME API avaiabiity, which aowed ater portabiity. Figure 1 shows the steps our deveopment foowed. Figure 1. AgentLight deveopment steps. 2

3 Probems to overcome During the project design and deveopment ife cyces we focused on severa questions: How wi the system interoperate on mutipe patforms? How can we ensure that an appication wi run equay we in both J2SE and J2ME? How arge wi the appication be? Our first goa was to buid an architecture that woud support a sma system running on any patform by standardizing knowedge representation and rue resoution. Second, we needed to know what type of configuration was possibe for J2ME and mobie phones. The configuration s imitations woud determine the appication s impementation, even for desktops. Otherwise, the transparent portabiity woud be compromised. After studying J2ME and connected imited device configuration (CDLC) profies, we concuded that the target devices woud have the foowing main features 7 : Extremey imited memory and CPU resources At east 128 KBytes of nonvoatie memory and 32 KBytes of voatie memory A imited power source, typicay batteries A potentiay sow network connection. System architecture Another major requirement is a set of agents running in a singe executabe appication. We accompished this by impementing agent containers 8. Figure 2 shows the modues that make up a container: 3

4 An agent manager, which is a norma agent oaded with a basic agent management set of rues. In Figure 2, this coud be Agent- N A communications infrastructure A task scheduer Agents created dynamicay during the system s ifetime A goba knowedge database shared by every agent in the container Figure 2. Container components. The agent manager s basic set of rues incudes knowedge about communication, coordination, and management. Ideay, these management rues are those specified in the FIPA agent management specification 9. Inference engine An agent s main component is the rue resoution engine (RREngine), which is instantiated by every agent in the container and is responsibe for the inference system. The RREngine is a reduced Proog-ike machine impementation originay based on W-Proog 4

5 code 11. Our group competey reengineered the code, targeting a smaer and more moduarized impementation and making sure the new impementation woud be J2SE and J2ME compatibe. Agents have one instance of the RREngine and a oca knowedge database in addition to the container s goba knowedge database. To aow system extensibiity over Java functionaity, we created the SkiInterface feature. This feature ets us map ogic rues onto Java code directy, aowing us to access these extensions transparenty as a Proog-ike rue. We chose first-order ogic for the knowedge-storing and ruesresoution system because it ets us Create a ayer of abstraction between the impementation and running code Simpify the communication process by standardizing the knowedge data and appication representation, which simpifies impementation of the seriaization and transmission Map higher eve ogics on first-order ogic, ensuring ater extensibiity (that is, beieves, desires, and intentions, or BDI 11 ). The source code, exampes, and documentation of the RREngine modue are avaiabe at Resuts: benchmarks and appications After successfuy impementing the beta version, we ran oad tests to verify the framework s memory usage and performance requirements. Initiay, the notoriousy expensive Proog-ike RREngine made memory usage our main concern. Impementation tests produced very satisfactory resuts. The container architecture et us create one appication with mutipe agents. Why we woud do this was not a question at this point; we simpy wanted to prove it was feasibe. However, the mutiagent 5

6 feature is usefu in appications that require mutipe distinct functionaities. We coud moduarize such appications by assigning one function per agent. For exampe, if you had a persona assistant that controed your agenda and address book, you coud create two intercommunicating agents and assign an agent to each task 12. Figure 3 presents our test resuts. First, we impemented a container that ony had a mandatory agent manager. We then forced the creation of mutipe agents coecting memory data information between cyces. We performed the tests using AgentLight version 0.7 on a J2ME mobie information device profie (MIDP) simuator and J2SE Java deveopment kit 1.4 environments. Figure 3. Memory oad resuts from a comparison of number of containers and number of agents. The resuts are promising. A capacity of five agents woud support even a reativey compex pervasive computing appication. As demonstrated, we can make 10 agents with ony 83 KBytes of memory. We aso checked knowedge capacity versus memory usage. To do this, we created a knowedge oader test appication that initiaized the container, adding mutipe rues in the format, rue<x>(arg1):- rue<x-1>(arg1). The point was to oad the container s knowedge database in a predictabe way, though not necessariy usabe in practice. Figure 4 presents the resuts. 6

7 Figure 4. Memory oad resuts from a comparison of number of containers and amount of knowedge. Again, we were satisfied with the outcome. Athough we can further improve the system, we can create a knowedgeabe container with 100 rues oaded using around 82 KBytes. Thus, we coud create a mutiagent system with 10 knowedgeabe agents using 166 KBytes of memory and a singe-agent system with identica features using 82 KBytes. More performance and capabiity tests are avaiabe at We are activey working on this project, and much work remains. We are sure that we can improve resource utiization and system functionaity. At this point, it seems cear that the impied architecture was a good choice, providing extensibiity and faciitating integration, standardization, and deveopment. Athough chaenges in the overa robustness and security of the agent appication exist, we refer to the impementation as a work in progress. Whereas the Java profie for exampe, MIDP sandbox security imposes basic-eve security, higher eve security procedures must be impemented using ogic operations. Security is a key issue in this research, and we wi thoroughy expore it in upcoming deveopment phases. Another research goa is to better position the project against FIPA 7

8 standards, especiay for communication and community management. A key objective is to reach FIPA certification, ensuring compatibiity with other systems. To vaidate our proposas, we are designing appications based on the AgentLight framework. This wi hep us demonstrate the framework s potentia, debug current probems, and visuaize future enhancements. Finay, we are creating specia rue sets that map high-eve concepts of agency such as BDI 9. In the near future, we wi integrate An Abstract Agent Programming Language (3APL) 13, 14 as an abstract definition methodoogy into the project, bringing its benefits to pervasive computing research. References 1. E. Giguere, Java 2 Micro Edition: The Utimate Guide on Programming Handhed and Embedded Devices, John Wiey & Sons, Sun Microsystems, Java Technoogy for the Wireess Industry, Java Community Process JSR185, 3. F. Bergenti et a., Depoying FIPA-Compiant Systems on Handhed Devices, IEEE Internet Computing, vo. 5, no. 4, Juy/Aug. 2001, pp , 4. M. Laukkanen, S. Tarkoma, and J. Leinonen, FIPA-OS Agent Patform for Sma-Footprint Devices, Proc. Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages (ATAL), Springer, 2001, pp F. Bergenti and A. Poggi, LEAP: A FIPA Patform for Handhed and Mobie Devices, Proc. Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages (ATAL), Springer, 2001, pp F.L. Koch and J-J.C. Meyer, Project AgentLight: Deveoping Logic- 8

9 based Autonomous Agents for Sma Devices, Proc. I Workshop of Thesis and Dissertations on Artificia Inteigence (WTDIA), 2002 (in Portuguese). 7. Sun Microsystems, The K Virtua Machine, 8. T. Phan, L. Huang, and C. Duan, Chaenge: Integrating Mobie Wireess Devices Into the Computationa Grid, Proc. 8th Ann. Int Conf. Mobie Computing And Networking, ACM Press, FIPA: The Foundation for Inteigent Physica Agents, FIPA Agent Management Specification, 10. M. Winikoff, W-Proog, 11. W. Van der Hoek, B. Van Linder, J.-J.C. Meyer, An Integrated Moda Approach to Rationa Agents, Foundations of Rationa Agency, Appied Logic Series 14, M. Woodridge and A. Rao, eds., Kuwer, 1998, pp A.C. Huang et a., Pervasive Computing: What Is It Good For? Proc. Workshop on Mobie Data Management (MobiDE), ACM Press, 1999, pp K.V. Hindriks et a., Agent Programming in 3APL, Autonomous Agents and Mutiagent Systems, vo. 2, no. 4, 1999, pp K.V. Hindriks et a., A Programming Logic for the Agent Programming Language 3APL, Proc. 1st Goddard Workshop Forma Approaches to Agent-Based Systems, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, Fernando L. Koch is a PhD candidate in the computer science department of Utrecht University (UU), the Netherands, where he is currenty researching the use of inteigent agents for pervasive computing and handhed devices. His areas of interest are artificia inteigence, distributed systems, and the impementation of autonomous agents for practica appications and sma or embedded devices. He has an MSc in 9

10 computer sciences from Federa University of Santa Catarina, Brazi. He is a member of the IEEE and the ACM. Contact him at John-Jues C. Meyer is a professor in the Computer Science Department of Utrecht University (UU) and heads the Inteigent Systems Group of the Institute of Computing and information Sciences at UU. He has a PhD from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. His research interests incude ogics for artificia inteigence, inteigent agents, and cognitive robotics. He is a member of ASL, the IEEE and the ACM. Contact him at 10

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