Agent Interoperability

To enable requester agents to find provider agents in environments with heterogeneous and dynamic information services, we have developed middle agents which serve to increase agent interoperability.

We have identified different types of middle agents in the Internet, such as matchmakers (yellow page services), brokers, billboards, etc., and we have experimentally evaluated different protocols for interoperation among providers, requesters and various types of middle agents.

Click the following icon to view a figure showing the protocol for two different types of middle agents, brokers and matchmakers:

We also have developed protocols for distributed matchmaking, the process of finding an appropriate provider through a middle agent. In matchmaking

  • Provider agents advertise their capabilities such as know-how, expertise, and so on, to middle agents.
  • Middle agents store these advertisements.
  • A requester asks some middle agent whether it knows of providers with desired capabilities.
  • The middle agent matches the request against the stored advertisements and returns the result.
Matchmaking is complicated by the fact that providers and requesters are usually heterogeneous and incapable in general of understanding each other. This difficulty gives rise to the need for a common language for describing the capabilities and requests of software agents in a convenient way. In order to address these problems, we are developing an agent capability description language (ACDL) known as LARKS. We have implemented LARKS and the associated powerful matchmaking process, and are currently incorporating it within our RETSINA multi-agent infrastructure.

For more information, visit the Matchmaking in Multi-Agent Systems Page.



Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI)
Principal Investigator: Katia Sycara
Sponsored by: Office of Naval Research (ONR)
ONR Contact: Michael Shneier
1998 Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute


Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute DefenseLINK Office of Naval Research MURI Welcome University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences