From: The Intelligent Software Agents/RETSINA Group, The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
               Contact: Lori Price, Writer/Editor: nospam-lrprice at cs dot cmu dot edu
               Written by: Michael D. Rectenwald, December 6, 2000






The Intelligent Software Agents/RETSINA Group at The Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon is changing the World Wide Web from a web of information to a web of services. Essential to this web of services are flexible Middle Agents and a common language in which heterogeneous agents[1] can communicate. While others, such as IBM, are attempting to create Web Services through UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration), these services lack the necessary Middle Agents, and a common Agent Capability Description Language (ACDL), to make the necessary links between web-based software services.


The RETSINA Groupís vision of the web is one in which intelligent software agents will read the content of web pages, advertise their services, and find other agents who will perform needed services for their human subscribers. Intelligent software agents will find information, coordinate it with other domain-specific data, perform scheduling, planning and other tasks, flexibly and dynamically responding to changes in their environments. The World Wide Web will change from a static web of information to a dynamic web populated by agents performing various tasks for their human users.


To that end, the RETSINA Group has created a special Middle Agent known as the Matchmaker, and an ACDL, known as LARKS. The advantages of the Matchmaker over other Middle Agents includes the possibility for agents to communicate directly after the Matchmaker matches agent requests with agent advertisements.LARKS is a common language used by middle or matchmaking agents to pair

service-requesting agents with service-providing agents that meet the requesting agents' requirements. Together, Matchmaker and LARKS bridge the gaps between heterogeneous software services.


We welcome you or members of your writing staff to visit and interview our relevant researchers, and to watch demonstrations of our agent technology in action.



[1] An agent is an intelligent, autonomous software application. Middle Agents are agents that help heterogeneous agents find each other and communicate on the internet and elsewhere.


The Intelligent Software Agents/RETSINA Group, The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

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