This history was compiled by stefan Poslad, Queen Mary, University of London, based on text from many authors, taken in part from various FIPA documents such as the resolutions documents for each FIPA meeting. Email FIPA-ROFS-Chair@ieee.org to report corrections or comments.
The article is oriented to a general readership. It focuses on the history of the technical work undertaken by FIPA, rather than on the organisational changes that occurred, during the decade 1995-2005. That said, a little overview of the FIPA organisation may help to understand some of the details of the technical work. FIPA was initially setup to complete and mature the work of specifying aspects of multi-agent systems within 5 years - so it originally had a 5 year mandate to do this (this got extended indefinitely in 2001). It was governed on behalf of the members by an administrative FIPA Board (of Directors), elected by its members. The technical works was done in Technical Committees or TCs that were created and dissolved when work was completed or abandoned. Other technical groups, such as Work Groups (WGs) were formed to do the ground work that would enable them eventually to turn into a technical committee to produce specifications. A Special Interest Group or SIG was formed to discuss related work that was not intended to lead to the generation of specifications. Lastly, a technical management board, called the FIPA Architecture Board or FAB became created in order to oversee the management of the life-cycle of specifications that were proposed in work-plans.
This document was last updated on 20th December 2005.
FIPA was established in 1996 as an international non-profit association of companies that agreed to share efforts to produce standard specifications of generic agent technologies that were: produced in a timely fashion, internationally agreed and usable across a large number of applications so that a high level of interoperability across applications is achieved. Since then, FIPA has counted more than 60 members from more than 20 different countries-worldwide and generated a set of specifications that went through 3 cycles of review: FIPA97, FIPA98, FIPA 2000. Several distinct agent platforms, applications, and collaborative projects have been, and are continuing to be, based upon the FIPA specifications; the core set of the specifications have been used for a number of years and they are robust and effective enough to be promoted to Standard. The X2S TC was created at the 24th FIPA meeting in Lausanne, Feb. 2002, to drive standards to standard status, harmonize, ensure coherency, correctness. It went through 3 iterations of accepting comments from the membership and improving the specifications. At the end of 2002, the FAB believed that these specifications were now stable, mature, well understood and ready for commercial implementation and deployment.
1995: The idea of FIPA was born in the second half of December 1995. At the root of FIPA were a the following: Agent technologies provide a new paradigm to solve old and new problems; Some agent technologies have reached a considerable degree of maturity; To be of use some agent technologies require standardisation; Standardisation of generic technologies has been shown to be possible and to provide effective results by other standardisation fora (MPEG and DAVIC).
1996: FIPA established its 1st Call for Proposals. This was used to identify different application areas of interest. 4 were retained by consensus: Personal Assistant, Personal Travel Assistance, Audio-Visual Entertainment and Broadcasting Network Provisioning and Management.
1997: FIPA adopts as the basis of the agent communication language the proposal by France Télécom for the ARCOL
the Agent Communication Language (this is often referred to as FIPA-ACL or sometimes
just ACL) and its associated semantic definition. This was the result of an intense
and controversial debate between the merits of FIPA vs. KQML. N.B. ARCOL became the
basis for the FIPA-ACL rather than KQML because the former had defined formal
semantics to underpin it, whereas the latter did not.
The 1st set of FIPA (FIPA-'97) specification in 7 parts were produced. The first three parts would be of "normative" type, i.e. they would specify the agent technologies (agent management, agent communication, agent/software interaction), while the remaining 4 parts (Personal Assistant, Personal Travel Assistance, Audio-Visual Entertainment and Broadcasting Network Provisioning and Management) would be of "informative" type, i.e. they would explain how to use the technologies specified in parts 1-3 to implement the 4 selected applications.
1998-9: core specifications revised and some new specifications developed,
e.g., for mobile agents and agent security. In 1999, the first open source FIPA
compliant toolkit was released (FIPA-OS from Nortel Networks, later ownership of
this passed to Emorphia).
2000-2: FIPA adopts an overall architecture model with less fragile abstractions that: doesn’t break as technology changes; mappings to commonly used technologies (CORBA, JINI etc); support alternate mechanisms, e.g., transports, content encodings and explicit definition of implicitly used agent terms; new life-cycle model for standards adopted. Successful interoperability trials for FIPA agents built with heterogeneous FIPA toolkit implementations of the specifications was undertaken. 25 specs standardised in 2002.
2003-4: New activities started in the areas of Semantics, adhoc, Security, Services, Modelling, Methodologies.
2005: FIPA no longer autonomous becomes 11th IEEE SA (standards activity). IEEE-FIPA is oriented around technical activities that move things to a standards stream..
The main achievements include:
There are many agent related ideas proposed and specified within FIPA. This is illustrated by the topics of the different technical committees and work-groups during FIPA's existence see Figure 1. But of these, one main idea and two associated ideas matured and reached standard status: agent communication languages, agent message and agent management / agent architecture.
Figure 1: The main activities of FIPA during its history in terms of its technical work groups. The bold activities are the ones that led to specifications. The dotted outline activity was intended to produce informative documents not specifications.
The core idea at the heart of the FIPA specifications is that FIPA agents in multi-agent systems communicate using a communication protocol defined by an Agent Communication Language (ACL). This is based on speech act theory: messages are actions, or communicative acts (also called speech acts or performatives), as they are intended to perform some action by virtue of being sent, e.g., "I now declare you as Man and Wife" when issued by an authorative agent such as a priest, in a licensed premise such as a church agency, acts to change the status of both man and wife to be married. The FIPA-ACL was based on a particular specification of communicative acts, as proposed in 1997 by France Télécom, called ARCOL. Every communicative act is described using both a narrative form and a formal semantics based on modal (BDI or Belief ,Desire, Intention) logic that specifies the effects of sending the message on the mental attitudes of the sender and receiver agents -
The FIPA-ACL consists of a set of 22 message types called communicative acts (CA) or speech acts such as request, agree, inform, not understood, and refuse. It is said that the most basic FIPA agent must be able to receive any FIPA-ACL communicative act message and if a response is needed and it can't handle or understand the received message, the agent must be able to reply with a not-understood message.
This FIPA-ACL specification includes guidance to users who are already familiar with another popular ACL called KQML (Knowledge Query Meta Language) in order to facilitate migration of KQML applications to use the FIPA ACL instead. The FIPA-ACL specification has gone through a number of revisions since 1997 and was standardised in 2002, as the FIPA Communicative Act Library Specification SC00037, available from here.
Additional specifications are based on the AC. For the example, individual CA messages are often used during interactions consisting of sequences of individual CAs. FIPA has defined predefined set of high-level interaction protocols, including requesting an action, contract net and several kinds of auctions. 9 Interaction protocols have been standardised in 2002, see here.
Other specifications associated with the ACL are an associated Content expression Language or CL that provides computation constructs for the communicative acts to use. Here are some examples: a request communication action requires a sub-action, e.g.1, Agent X requests to register service description Y in directory Z, e.g.2, a query-if communication action requires a preposition. Agent X queries agent Y if preposition Z is true; a query-ref communication action requires a variable or identifying expression, e.g.3, Agent X queries agent Y for data that matches expression Z. Several CLs have been proposed such as FIPA-SL (FIPA Semantic Language), KIF and RDF but of these only FIPA-SL reached standard status as FIPA Specification SC0008, see here.
Further developments of the ACL were initiated but did not lead to standard specifications:
ACL Message exchange requires the ACL message structure to be defined in terms of message header fields such as the type of communicative act, receiver address and the sender address and the message content (instances of content expressions) see here for the SC00061 FIPA ACL Message Structure Specification The ACL message structure can be encoded using multiple representations such as XML, String and a bit compression format, see here for specifications SC00071, SC00070 and SC00069 respectively. In addition, encoded ACL messages use a TCP/IP transport protocol such as IIOP or HTTP, see here for specifications SC00075 and SC00084 respectively.
In 1997: A normative framework within which FIPA compliant agents can exist, operate and be managed, was proposed. An agent platform reference model contained such capabilities as white and yellow pages, message routing (N.B. message transport was first modelled as part of agent management in 1997 but later became a separate specification) and life-cycle management is defined. Initially, in 1997, the white and yellow pages, message routing capabilities were modelled as intelligent agents, as the Agent Management System (AMS), Directory Facilitator (DF) and Message transport agents with specific ACL interfaces. These agents were defined formally using the communicative acts and an associated management ontology and content expressions allows agents to discover each other’s capabilities in the agent management specification. Initially the capabilities of an agent name service (ANS) and agent life-cycle management service (AMS) were defined separately but these became merged into a single AMS agent. Later, for reasons to do with performance and the need to reuse and embed agent systems in non-agent infrastructures, message transport and yellow pages were specified as non-agent services in the SC00023 FIPA Agent Management Specification, see here.
In addition in 2000-2002, a more abstract model of an agent architecture was proposed and standardised as the SC00001, FIPA Abstract Architecture Specification, see here. This specifies the ACL message and message transport as mandatory services and allows the yellow page, white page, agent management services to be optional. Further developments of the abstract architecture to support the following abstractions were initiated but did not lead to standard specifications:
(No., Place, Month-Year, Host)
London 11-2003, Co-hosted with OMG Meeting
The Origins of FIPA
The idea of FIPA was born in the second half of December 1995. At the root of FIPA are a set of facts:
In the months January to March 1996 a set of documents about its Rationale and Scope were circulated to a selected number of individuals who contributed to the refinement of the basic ideas.
On 18 and 19 April 1996 a group of interested people met at the Imperial College, London. The meeting was by invitation but anybody who requested to join was accepted. The group reached agreement on several points:
The second FIPA meeting was widely announced and due notice was given along with the FIPA Opening Forum program. A considerable number of participants gathered at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown, NY on 24-26 June 1996. The first two meeting days were used to hear and discuss some 35 presentations addressing a wide range of agent-base applications and agent-enabled technologies.
On the third day (26 June) three basic documents were produced: a framework document for FIPA activities a first draft of FIPA application document a first draft of FIPA requirements document along with a list of agent technologies candidate for 1997 specification. The rest of the third day was used to deal with administrative issues such as confirmation of the FIPA workplan; decision to publish the First FIPA Call for Proposals at the third meeting in October 1996; decision to request interested parties to submit descriptions of applications at the third meeting, with reference to list of 1997 standardisation items; decision to proceed with the formal establishment of FIPA as a non-profit association in Switzerland. All the decisions were duly recorded in a set of resolutions.
On 5 September 1996 five individuals representing five companies met in the office of Me. Jean-Pierre Jacquemoud in Geneva and signed the papers establishing FIPA as a not-for-profit association under Swiss Civil Law. The five representatives elected Messrs. Leonardo Chiariglione (CSELT), Richard Nicol (BT Labs) and Peter Schirling (IBM) as Directors of the Association.
The yearly membership fees were set at 3,500 Swiss Francs (about 2,500 US$) for Full Members but the fee was halved for Associated Members, i.e. members with no voting rights.
Information on the formal establishment of FIPA was largely distributed with an invitation to join. This was done both by mail, electronic mail and using the FIPA Web site established immediately after the Yorktown meeting.
The third meeting, hosted by NHK in Tokyo on 07-11 October 1996, was the first formal meeting of the Association, but was still open to anybody interested. It was a challengingly complex meeting to manage.
The Call for contributions, widely disseminated by mail and email, had requested contributions proposing applications and the corresponding technologies to enable drafting of a Call for Proposals of agent technologies to be used for the development of FIPA '97 specification.
The dedication and competence of the experts attending the meeting enabled FIPA to produce a high-quality Call for Proposals through the following sequence of steps:
The submissions were used to identify 12 different application areas of interest. Out of the 12 applications 4 were retained by consensus:
The list of agent technologies needed by the 4 applications were identified. A subset of the technologies that the meeting considered specifiable in 1997 was produced. The applications made possible by FIPA '97 specification were described. The Call for Proposals was drafted and approved.
The meeting appointed K. Enami (NHK) as 4th FIPA Director and decided that, starting from the 4th meeting, attendance would be limited to FIPA members. The exception for the following meeting was for those who would submit a contribution in response to CFP1.
As for past information regarding the 1st FIPA Call for Proposals (CFP1) was widely disseminated by email. The html version of CFP1 was also posted on the FIPA home page and received over 1,500 hits in 3 months. The meeting, hosted by CSELT (now TILabs) in Torino, Italy on 20-24 January 1997, was duly announced to FIPA members but information was also posted on the FIPA home page, because those who made a submission in response to CFP1 were invited to attend, irrespective of their membership. The Responses to CFP1 provided most of the basic technology needed to develop FIPA '97 specification capable of supporting the four selected applications.
First the decision was made to subdivide the FIPA '97 specification in 7 parts. The first three parts would be of "normative" type (i.e. they would specify the agent technologies), while the remaining 4 parts would be of "informative" type (i.e. they would explain how to use the technologies specified in parts 1-3 to implement the 4 selected applications. The table below gives the title of the 7 specifications.
|No.||Title||Type of Service||Type of spec.|
|2||Human/agent and agent/agent communication||Middleware||Normative|
|4||Personal travel assistance||Application||Informative|
|6||Audio-visual entertainment & broadcasting||Application||Informative|
|7||Network management & provisioning||Application||Informative|
The meeting established 3 Technical Committees (TCs) to develop the first three parts and appointed Paul O'Brien (BT Labs), Donald Steiner (Siemens) and Yeun-Bae Kim (NHK) as the corresponding Chairmen. The TCs produced a baseline draft specification for part 1, 2 and 3. These were posted on the FIPA home page and in the 45 days, received more than 700 hits. The meeting also succeeded in drafting a baseline draft specification of part 4. Lastly the meeting produced a Call for Proposal (CFP2) for the purpose of obtaining the few items of agent technologies that had not been obtained from CFP1.
FIPA adopted the proposal by France Télécom for the ARCOL the Agent Communication Language (this is referred to as FIPA-ACL or sometimes just ACL) and its associated semantic definition as the basis of its agent communication language. This was the result of intense controversial debate between the merits of FIPA vs. KQML. N.B. ARCOL became the basis for the FIPA-ACL rather than KQML because the former had defined formal semantics to underpin it whereas the latter did not. FIPA adopt the content language SL, also from France Télécom, as an informative standard for the content language of messages. FIPA adopts the cooperativeness protocols, also from France Télécom, as a possible basis for cooperative behaviour (cooperativity contracts).
FIPA 1997 technologies did not well support Human/Agent Interaction, aside from the underlying model of speech acts. It was suggested that Human/Agent Technology Group be formed for special focus, assuming the same underlying dialog model now established by the combined Human-Agent/Agent-Agent Technology Group. (Review SGML and other proposals at next meeting? Additional CFP?)
This Made clear the distinction between normative and informative, in particular between the model of agent communication and the incorporation of a given theory of agency in the agent implementation.
Revision of the Agent / Software interaction scenario to broader types of interaction and also to align with the draft standards emerging from TC1 such as Agent Resource Broker (ARB).
FIPA 97 version 1.0 produced, All technical issues settled, Plan for 1998 trials produced
FIPA developed and approved the draft FIPA 97 specification version 2.0, parts 1 to 7 and proposed to extend these in 1998 as follows:
FIPA 97(Version 1.0, unless otherwise indicated)
FIPA 98 Version 1,0
1. Basic System (Version 2.0)
1. Extension to Basic System
10. Agent Security Management
11. Agent Management Support for Mobility
2. Agent Communication Language
8. Human-Agent Interaction
12. Ontology Service
Agent S/W Integration
3. Agent Software Integration
4. Personal Travel Assistant
5. Personal Assistant
6. Audio/Visual Entertainment &
7. Network Management &
To illustrate some of the issues, the Agent Management , has agreed to adopt the following resolutions :
FIPA 1997 specifications were published as a book with a limited circulation.
Agent Management TC, TC1, proposed that FIPA adopt the adoption of the Agent Management Specification (fipa7a11 v1.0). This incorporated the following major changes :
Agent Communication TC,TC2, proposed that FIPA adoption of a first version of fipa7a12.doc as Part 2, Agent Communication Language, to the FIPA 97 Specification (Version 1.0), the main improvements over fipa7612.doc (Cheju draft version) being:
Agent Software Integration TC, TC3, proposed that FIPA approves FIPA 97 version. 1.0, Part 3 - Agent/Software Integration:
Personal Travel Assistance, TC4, proposes that FIPA adopt the document fipa7a14.doc, FIPA 97 Draft Specification: Part 4 Personal Travel Assistance is declared complete for the needs of FIPA 97 initial publication. Two areas are suggested as the primary new focus of Personal Travel Assistance in FIPA 98: A more complete and applicable ontology for travel is suggested to serve as a test of a FIPA initiative in ontology definition and management; Elaboration of the mobile agent scenarios is suggested as well to serve the possible technical development of how mobile agent platforms are integrated with FIPA standards (platform, communications, and software access for mobile agents).
Personal Assistant TC5 proposed to submit fipa7a15.doc as Part 5, Personal Assistant, to the FIPA 97 Specification (Version 1.0), the main improvements being the: · adoption of vCalendar for representation of meetings · rewriting and reformatting of the document.
Audio-Visual Entertaining and Broadcasting TC6 proposed that FIPA approve the FIPA 97 part 6.
Network Management and Provisioning TC7 proposed that FIPA adopt FIPA7A17 Version 1 for approval as the specification for FIPA TC7 on Network Management and Provisioning.
Field trials were planned for 1998 to test the specifications.
Agent Management TC1 proposes that FIPA adopt a revised Agent Management Mandate which reads : “To define a detailed normative framework within which FIPA agents can exist and operate, including reference, life-cycle, security and mobility models, agent management tool specifications, and an informative annex. To adopt an external view of an agent, ensuring that developers retain the maximum freedom in the development of an agent system. Similarly, to provide flexibility in the organisation and configuration of agent systems.”.TC1 also started to pursued the specification of Security Management : fipa811a : (Marius Tesselar : KPN) and Agent Management Support for Mobility : fipa810b (Bernard Burg : Motorola).
Agent Communication TC2, aims were to:
Human/Agent Interaction TC8, proposed that FIPA adopt the following recommendations : Approval of the first draft of FIPA 98 “Human/Agent Interaction” (fipa8118) as follows: ·
Agent Manufacturing TC9 proposed that Product Design and Manufacturing will be added the application areas for FIPA98. A technical committee will develop an informative application specification as part of FIPA98. The scope of work will include Manufacturing and Telecommunication interests (as well as Banking) to satisfy the general interest of FIPA members and to demonstrate the multi-vendor, multi-industry, multinational scope of the application.
A new technical committee, support of FIPA 97, TC 10 was started to address the support of FIPA 97. The inputs to TC10 were all comments on FIPA 97. The main outputs from TC10 will be: FIPA 97 v2.0 and a User Guide to FIPA 97.
Agent Management TC1 proposed:
To continue its Work-plan for Mobility Management to:
To continue its Work-plan for Agent Management revision (FIPA98) to:
To continue its work-plan for Security Management to:
Agent communication TC2:
TC2 approves the following list of action points to be delivered at next FIPA meeting:
Human/Agent Interaction TC 8 adopts:
The Support of FIPA 97 TC10 proposes that the Plenary accept: Version 1.1 of FIPA 97 Part 1, Version 1.1 of FIPA 97 Part 2, Version 0.2 of the FIPA 97 Developer’s Guide (including the FIPA 97 FAQ).
Agent Management TC1
To agree to the following TC1 action points and work-plan
TC2 approves the following list of action points:
Human/Agent Interaction TC8 proposed to
Agent Manufacturing TC9 issues:
The existence of this application specification continues to be of interest to current members, has already recruited new members, and is part of the decision process for possible new members. · Its activity has proceeded slowly- this is problematic. However, a number of focusing items and intentions are resolved to address this.
TC9's primary agenda will be to explore FIPA98 (not include FIPA97 details). In particular Ontology and Human Interaction Learning Service have been made a primary focus of scenarios. Security is then the next most important specification to apply. Mobility should and can be included, after these other items are better established.
Scenarios have been well identified. They will include new virtual enterprise member registration (ontology registration), buyer selection of vendor (Learning/Reputation Service), and design interest user profiling and notification (User Profiling, and Ontology-mediation between companies). Security within the cross-company firewall notification will be added. Agent mobility within this security framework will then be shown as an improvement.
Support of FIPA 97 TC10 proposed that:
General resolutions concerned:
FIPA approves its Fifth Call for Proposals for FIPA 99 applications and technologies.
FIPA approves version 2 of the following specifications:
Part 1 Agent Management FIPA 97
Part 2 Agent Communication Language Version 2 parts supersede the corresponding version 1 parts.
FIPA approves version 1 of the following specifications:
Part 1 Agent Management Part 8 Human/Agent Interaction
Part 10 Agent Security
Part 11 Agent Mobility
Part 12 Ontology Service FIPA 98 Part 13 FIPA 97 Developers' Guide
Publication of FIPA 98 part 9 (Product Design and Manufacturing) is deferred to April 1999 as the specification is not considered to be technically mature.
FIPA welcomes the list of FIPA 97-related software developed by members (fipa8a08) and the intention stated by Siemens to make software available by the Seoul meeting. Nortel Networks is thanked for donating FIPA-compliant software to FIPA members for non commercial purposes. The software provided (on request) is Java parsers for ACL and SL. A Java ACC for use with OrbixWeb and VisiBroker (not tested) is also available for experimental use.
FIPA welcomes the description of FIPA field trials being conducted or planned by members and consortia (fipa8a07).
FIPA thanks the following that provided demonstrations of FIPA implementations:
Mobile electronic commerce agent IBM
Personal travel assistant, Siemens
FIPA 97 implementation, Comtec
JADE - Java Agent Development Kit, CSELT
FIPA agent communication based on OMG MASIF technology, GMD Fokus
Memory agent Stevens IBM
Agent Management TC1 proposed:
Human-Agent Interaction TC 8
Product Design and Manufacturing TC9
The Product Design and Manufacturing TC9 specification will not be published as Part of FIPA 98, due to its insufficient development at this point in time. However, there is sufficient interest and new leadership (Berry and Ivezic) now driving this effort and wishing to use a completed document for driving this industry with FIPA standards.
Fundamental problems about the size of this domain and the complexities of the expertise required are being addressed. 2) Divide and conquer. A grid of areas of responsibility (industry and FIPA agent dimensions) has been established and a list of volunteers so far (and potential recruits) to address particular areas has been drafted.
A new CFP will not be issued, but this current FIPA98 work will be extended into 1999. As a precedent to now follow, all application specifications will be finalized in April of each year. Product Design and Manufacturing will be published April 1999 as a first case. A FIPA-manufacturing reflector has been established and will be used for work outside FIPA meetings. This will be open to a select list of other critical industry experts to help in this work.
Support of FIPA 97 TC10 proposes that:
A final version of the Developer's Guide (minor editorial updates only) will be provided as Version 1.0 to the Secretariat by November 20th 1998. Members and TC Chairs in particular are requested to provide comments.
TC10 noted that Changes to FIPA 97 Parts 1 & 2 have been made during 1998, in particular:
FIPA approves the current portfolio of FIPA specifications (FIPA Spec ID, Title)
For 1999 the active TCs are as follows (TC ID, TC name, Chair)
01-1990 TC D conducted the first interoperability trials and the public demonstration successfully. See "Result of first interoperability trials" (fipa9113.doc) for details.
1999 TC activities planned for 04-1999 (FIPA Spec ID, Title, TC)
FIPA approves the Call for Offers 1 (CfO 1) soliciting offers to develop showcase software implementing a meeting scheduler by the time of the October 1999 meeting.
FIPA approves its Sixth Call for Proposals (fipa9106).
Architecture TC A requests that FIPA issue a Call for Information related to the creation of one or more FIPA standards for Agent Frameworks. Here a framework refers to an instantiation of the FIPA abstract architecture based upon a particular collection of technologies. Examples of such frameworks are:
Management TC B approves: a roadmap with additional milestones to the completion of the specifications allocated to it above.
Agent Communication Language TC C
Interop TC D
Interoperability trials TC D conducted the first interoperability trials and the public demonstration successfully. See “Result of first interoperability trials” (fipa9113.pdf) for details. 3. TC D approves the document “Field trials by members” (fipa9107.pdf) and the document “Software by members” (fipa9108.pdf).
TC D establishes the following policy regarding the verification and maintenance of the specifications: The role of this TC is mainly to act as a source of request for changes. During each FIPA meeting all the needed changes, and possible solutions, will be collected in one document per each TC. This document will be then discussed in the appropriate TC with a representative of TC D. Therefore, each TC continues to be the custodian of their FIPA specs and each TC will be responsible for maintaining an updated version of the specs. The process to maintain the comments will be basically the same of the last year. Each member who is aware of FIPA-related software should notify TC D by e-mail.
TC D would like to acknowledge the support of 1. the European project FACTS, ACTS AC317 within whose framework part of the implementation of JADE, the CSELT Agent Platform, and of ASL FIPA gateway, the Broadcom Agent Platform has been carried out and the Information-Promotion Agency of Japan that funded the implementation of Metamedia, the Comtec Agent Platform.
Nomadic Application Support TC E
TC E decided that it will facilitate activities of TC A, TC B, and TC C by providing Nomadic Application Support requirements and expertise on / for the specifications appropriate to each TC. 3.
TC E decides to submit Call for Proposal (FIPA's 6th) to get more input in the topics: - architecture of nomadic application support, - monitoring QoS and controlling/selecting transport mechanisms, - encoding / compression of ACL and content languages, and - Ontologies for profile management and mobile device capabilities.
FIPA approves the following version. 0.1 draft specifications FIPA Draft ID Title Doc# Publication FIPA Draft 0 - 1999 Architectural Principles fipa9410 Restricted FIPA Draft 1 - 1999 Agent Management fipa9411 Yes FIPA Draft 2 - 1999 Agent Communication Language fipa9412 Yes FIPA Draft 14 - 1999 Nomadic Application Support fipa9414 Yes FIPA Draft 16 - 1999 Agent Message Transport fipa9416 Yes FIPA Draft 17 - 1999 Agent Naming fipa9417 Yes FIPA Draft 18 - 1999 Content languages fipa9418 Yes
David Levine will co-ordinate the draft response to the RFI from OMG on Agents and the Object Management Architecture (drafting, comments etc.), and its timely arrival at OMG.
FIPA approves its Seventh Call for Proposals (fipa9419).
FIPA approves the Call for Offers 1 (CfO 1) soliciting offers to develop software implementing a meeting scheduler by the time of the October 1999 meeting (fipa9407).
TC A issued an interim draft of the document Architecture Overview,
TC B proposed a roadmap with additional milestones to the completion of the specifications mentioned in the previous meeting and started work on it.
TC C approves:
TC D approves:
FIPA member Nortel Networks announced the availability of the first open-source FIPA-compliant Agent Platform called FIPA-OS available from Source forge (N.B. development activity seem to discontinue in the latter half of 2003).
FIPA awarded the contract for the development of its show-case Meeting Scheduler Application to AEGIS,
TC A Resolutions
TC B approves of the following specifications
TC B approves the transmission of the following specifications to OMG
TC C approves Version 0.2 of FIPA Spec 2 – 1999, Agent Communication Language, including the following changes to Version 0.1:
AUML will be presented to OMG’s Object Design and Analysis Task Force (ADTF) for consideration as a profile of UML.
It was reaffirmed that message encoding is to be handled by TC B (in FIPA Spec 16) where TC C supplies the abstract message components to be encoded. The requests of TC B for removing the :envelope parameter and adding user-defined parameters to ACL messages will be considered in detail at the next meeting.
The TC approves Version 0.2 of FIPA Spec 18 – 1999, FIPA Content Languages, including the following changes to Version 0.1:
TC D thanks the Intelligent Agent Society of Japan for translating the FIPA specifications into Japanese.
TC D approves the documents
TC E adopt the following resolutions:
FIPA should respond in a timely fashion to the OMG RFI # cc/99-02-03 This response will be based on the following current drafts of: Architecture overview (draft) FIPA'97 parts 2, 3 FIPA'98 parts 1, 8, 11, 12 FIPA'99 Naming, Message transport A covering letter will accompany this submission highlighting the relationships and current status of above specifications. Frank McCabe will assemble an executive summary taken from the introduction of the FIPA specification being transmitted. 4. Approval of FIPA 1999 version. 0.2 specifications
FIPA approves the following version. 0.2 draft specifications (FIPA Draft ID, Title Doc, Publication)
SIG on Product Design and Manufacturing proposes to
FIPA adopts a three phase approach to releasing specifications to ensure their long-term stability:
FIPA thanks the following individuals for providing demonstrations of FIPA implementations (Title Name Affiliation)
TC A Releases a further draft of Abstract Architecture Specification.
TC B proposes that FIPA adopt the following resolutions · Current Status Approval of the following specifications for diffusion with ‘preliminary’: ·
TC B expects to upgrade the following specifications to experimental status in January 2000:
The work on Agent Configuration Management (Editor J. Dale, FIPA spec 15 - 1999) continues.
TC C accepts the following proposed changes to the Agent Communication Language for FIPA 99:
The TC approves Version 1 of FIPA Spec 18 – 1999, FIPA Content Languages, including the following changes to Version 0.2:
TC C’s anticipated FIPA 2000 workplan includes further work on brokerage, Ontologies, AUML, Content Language, document structure, ACL semantics, interaction protocols, and abstract ACL syntax. ·
TC D approves the ‘preliminary’ status of the specification FIPA Developer’s Guide. It is expected to evolve towards ‘experimental’ status as soon as the standard FIPA foreword, preface and introduction is available. ·
TC E proposes that FIPA adopt the following resolutions: · TC E accepts the document FIPA Spec 14 – 1999 - 1.0 – Nomadic Application Support with ‘preliminary’ status. Future work TC E endeavours to work on the following topics: Use of gateways in the environment of Nomadic Application Support; Mobile device ontology and Support for application agents in the nomadic application environment.
New specification development process was adopted for the new FIPA process, the three major phases of specifications: PRELIMINARY, EXPERIMENTAL, STANDARD, as well as OBSOLETE, DEPRECATED.
FIPA creates the Architecture Board to
To ensure that FIPA specifications exhibit: consistency, coherence, integrity and merit.
To approve the advancement of FIPA specifications through the standard's life cycle.
To oversee the technical direction of FIPA and influence it where necessary.
To maintain a registry of FIPA specifications and work plans.
FIPA creates the Interop SIG, to be chaired by Hiroki Suguri (Comtec), with the following scope: The purpose of the Interop SIG is to promote the interoperability trials, open source movement and application development and deployment.
FIPA issues a new mission statement "To promote technologies and interoperability specifications that facilitate the end-to-end inter networking of intelligent agent systems in modern commercial and industrial settings".
FIPA's focus is on:
Two new specifications proposed:
No. 84 "FIPA Agent Message Transport Protocol for
No. 85 "FIPA Agent Message Transport Envelope Representation in XML
New scenarios have arisen:
The way forward
2000 Technical committees and Work-groups
FIPA competition Launched: FIPA has launched a competition of applications utilizing FIPA agents. The competition is open to FIPA members as well as non-members. FIPA will award a prize of up to $10,000 (US) to the developer of the most interesting and complete demonstration as judged by the FIPA members.
The FIPA competition of applications utilizing FIPA agents was judged by FIPA members and placed the top free entrants as follows (Title Name, Organisation, related Project):
Other unplaced competitors include:
The FIPA Architecture Board (FAB) proposes that FIPA
TC A proposes:
TC B proposed:
TC C has formulated a revised workplan, addressing the maintenance of the ACL specification documents, and submitted it to the FAB. Highlights of this workplan include: Recasting the FIPA 99 ACL specification into a set of independently managed libraries for communicative acts, ACL message parameters, content languages, and interaction protocols. ·
TC C has reviewed the FIPA ACL Interaction Protocol documents, and has agreed on the following changes:
Some miscellaneous revisions: Submitted protocols must include examples of the protocol in action. Submitted protocols must include evidence that the protocol has been successfully implemented (for the protocol to have Standard status).
Specific protocols: TC C discussed the Request-Cancellable interaction protocol (submitted by BT), and will prepare a response outlining some issues. · Cancellable versions of the existing protocols will be defined by Bernhard and submitted as Preliminary for the July meeting. TC C will take action on FIPA-Propose and FIPA-Subscribe before the next meeting and expects certain existing IPs will be promoted from Preliminary status to Experimental status by the July FIPA meeting.
TC C continues to acknowledge the need for a document to introduce the FIPA ACL and the associated semantic framework. TC C currently prioritizes the writing of this document below the production of the communicative act, interaction protocols, content language, and FIPA ACL message parameter libraries.
TC C has reviewed the FIPA ACL Communicative Act Library, with the following results: ·
TC C has reviewed the FIPA ACL Message Element Library, with the following results:
TC C has reviewed the submissions of Fabio Bellifemine and Luis Botelho concerning the FIPA-SL content language (and its derivative dialects), with the following results:
TC C encourages the FIPA membership to formulate a workplan addressing issues in ontology specification frameworks and ontology management, including: Maintenance of the FIPA 98 Part 12 Ontology Service; Creation of a library of ontology frameworks, including OKBC; Possibly also including a library of specific application Ontologies.
TC C encourages the FIPA membership to formulate work plans (including calls for proposals) addressing new directions for FIPA’s agent communication framework, including
TC C thanks Bernhard Bauer and Jim Odell for their work in submitting the AUML specification to the OMG Analysis and Design Task Force. ·
TC E accepts the following work plans: · TC E’s workplan and · the ‘Gateway’ workplan (issued by BT, EPFL, Nokia, Siemens, Sonera, and UH). TC E will carry out the work related to the ‘gateway’ workplan, e.g., administer the Call For Technology until FIPA Board nominates a TC to carry on the work, then TC E will discontinue.
FAB promotes to Experimental status the following specifications:
TC Architecture resolves to update the abstract architecture specification to:
This TC will issue a revised specification (PC00001B) in the near future and Intends to hold on issuing an experimental specification until at least one concrete architecture has been derived from the Abstract Architecture. ·
TC ACL / TC C has reviewed the preliminary Message Elements specification, and recommends it be promoted to Experimental status. The following changes have been made: ·
TC ACL has reviewed the Content Language Library, and recommends that all component documents of the library be promoted to Experimental status.
The following changes have been made to the FIPA-SL specification:
TC C has reformulated and reviewed the Communicative Act Library, and recommends that it be promoted to Experimental status. The following changes were made: ·
TC C has reviewed the Interaction Protocol Library. TC C recommends that the individual elements of this library (the protocols) remain at Preliminary status, but be made public. TC C also recommends that the Interaction Protocol Library Administration document, containing the AUML definition, be promoted to Experimental status.
TC Agreement Management will produce three closely related specifications: Agent Configuration Management, Specification Agreements Specification, Service Description Ontology Specification
TC Gateway: will combine preliminary versions of the component and profile documents produced by TC E (PC00062, PC00063, PC00065, PC00066) by 1 August 2000.
The Transport WG, TWG, approves the new version of the specifications FIPA00075 "Agent Message Transport Protocol for IIOP Specification " where the IDL interface has been fixed and submits this specification to FAB for promotion to experimental. · TWG approves the deprecation of the specifications FIPA00073 "Agent Message Transport Envelope Representation in String Specification". They are made deprecated by the new specifications FIPA00075 "Agent Message Transport Protocol for IIOP Specification ".
TWG proposes following new specifications:
In the following specifications with the following changes were made:
TWG requests TC C to remove the notion of relative time from the ACL specs, in particular for the value of the :reply-by parameter, in order to have a uniform notion of time in SL, ACL and envelope.
TWG approves the obsolescence of the following preliminary specifications:FIPA00077 Agent Message Transport Profile Alpha Specification · FIPA00078 Agent Message Transport Profile Beta Specification.
TC Architecture proposes to submit PC00001x to the FAB as an
eXperimental specification; To encourage the development of a workplan to
develop a service model architecture.
TC Agreements Management continued work on the Agent Configuration Management Specification, the Service Level Agreements Specification and the Service Description Ontology Specification.
TC Gateways proposes that: FIPA Accept the bit efficient concrete envelope syntax submission, jointly produced by Sonera and University of Helsinki, as the basis of the preliminary version of 'FIPA Agent Message Transport Envelope Representation in Bit-Efficient Encoding Specification'; Issue a revised Call For Technology.
TC C has reviewed the FIPA Communicative Act Library (PC00037), and recommends that it be promoted to Experimental status. The following changes were made:
A significant error in the description of the cancel CA was corrected. The
interpretation given in the existing formal model was judged by TC C to be the
correct one. This error made several of the cancellable IPs problematic (see
Numerous editorial changes were made.
TC C has reviewed the Interaction Protocol Library. TC C recommends that the
individual elements of this library (the interaction protocols) be promoted to
Experimental Status, with the exception of FIPA-Subscribe.
TC C has reviewed the AUML specification. TC C believes that this specification will still require substantial work before being promoted to Standard; nevertheless, we believe that it is appropriate for Experimental Status.
TC C has removed the cancellable versions of the various protocols. TC C believes that substantial elaboration on each IP will be necessary in order to specify all cases that might occur in an actual agent interaction. Real world issues of cancelling actions, asynchrony, abnormal or unexpected protocol termination, nested protocols, and the like, are explicitly not addressed in the current IP specifications. Implementers are invited to specify more complete and robust interaction patterns, and submit them to FIPA for inclusion in the interaction protocol library. TC C requests that TC Gateways consider the impact of the (newly-revised) definition of the cancel CA on the information flow in FIPA-Subscribe.
Upon acceptance of the specifications as Experimental, TC C would like to
transfer responsibility for the FIPA Message Structure Specification, the FIPA
Communicative Acts Specification, the FIPA Content Language Library, and the
FIPA Interaction Protocol Library to the FAB. TC recommends that TC C be
dissolved. TC C also anticipates the formation of a new working group to
explore advanced issues in FIPA ACL semantics and protocols.
TC C gratefully acknowledges the work of Thierry Bouron, Monique Calisti, Stephen Cranefield, Mark Greaves, Marcus Huber, Hiroki Iciki, Frank McCabe, Makoto Okada, Jeremy Pitt, Martin Purvis, and Donald Steiner.
AgentCities WG resolutions
The AgentCities WG proposes that FIPA adopt the following resolutions:
FIPA Architecture Board Resolutions
Rejects the work plans (due to lack of support by the active membership):
Ontology SIG proposes that FIPA establish a new email reflector
for the purposes of discussing a workplan and subsequent work
Security SIG: During this FIPA meeting, the Security SIG has reviewed a range of security-related issues that are related to the work of FIPA. It has identified the scope of work for a future security work-plan, and is drafting a Request For Information (f-out-00065). It intends to use the results of this call to develop a security work plan.
Peer to Peer (PtP) SIG proposes that FIPA adopt the following resolutions: To submit a proposal to the Peer-to-Peer Working Group’s Request for Proposals for a Peer-to-Peer Architecture. The proposal will consist of at least a detailed cover letter with our positioning and contributions as well as the Abstract Architecture, PC00001x.
TC Architecture proposes that FIPA adopt the following resolutions:
TC Agreement expects to submit a Workplan concerning ACL extensions
and/or an alternate semantic framework to FAB soon.
TC Gateways Submitted the preliminary version of 'FIPA Agent Message Transport Envelope Representation in Bit-Efficient Encoding Specification', jointly produced by Sonera and University of Helsinki, to the FAB for transition to Experimental status. It will· provide feedback to the authors of the following submissions:
Begin discussions with the FAB re the wider issues arising from the above submissions, namely:
Seek guidance from appropriate FIPA members re the following:
The AgentCities WG proposes to produce a draft XML-based Content Language syntax which may be used within the Agentcities network; to continue discussions on:
Product Design & Manufacturing WG encourages FIPA to continue to pursue potential liaison relationship with the holonic-manufacturing consortium HMC. The PD&M WG will investigate how we can support the testing of AUML as a modelling technique for designing agent-based manufacturing applications. The PD&M WG will release an informative document of manufacturing scenarios on the usage of FIPA technology for these applications. We would like to thank the holonic-manufacturing consortium for permitting us to utilize some of their real scenarios for this document.
The FAB proposes Promotion of Experimental specifications:
The Ontology SIG proposes to develop a workplan to:
TC Architecture proposes to continue progress on architectural elements to support policies; To incorporate a service model into the Abstract Architecture To encourage the development of an abstract content representation language T
TC Agreement Management proposes to
TC Gateways proposes that FIPA adopt the following resolutions.
AgentCities WG proposes that FIPA adopt the following resolutions:
The Product Design and Manufacturing WG proposes to continue the new task of defining a FIPA abstract architecture for collaborative holonic enterprise as per the ideas and plan developed at the next meeting; to investigate how we can support the testing of AUML as a modelling technique for designing agent-based manufacturing applications. ·
FIPA Architecture Board Resolutions The FAB proposes that FIPA adopt the following resolutions:
Ontology SIG proposes that FIPA adopt the following resolutions: · to encourage the formation of a workplan on handling ontology Security SIG resolutions
Security SIG proposes that FIPA adopt the following resolutions: · That the Call For Information be refocused and re-issued. · That an interim meeting and, or workshop be considered as a vehicle to engage further active participation from interested parties in the area of Multi-Agent Security. · That a FIPA white-paper on agent security (informational output document) be completed and submitted for discussion at the 22nd meeting.
The Liaison SIG reported (proposes (f-out-00085.doc) on the status of external activities of interest to FIPA. The following implementations were reported: APRIL, Comtec, FIPA-OS, JADE, JAS, LEAP, TIIERA, Tryllian, Zeus. The following activities were also discussed: Holonic Enterprise, P2P, GRID, DAML, AgentCities (Europe), and ‘UDDI, OASIS, BMPI and other related Standards supporting Web Services and Collaborative Commerce’.
Interoperability trials (called a bake-off) were conducted between 4 main agent platforms:
The specifications tests used the Agent Management specification, Message Transport Service (for IIOP and HTTP), Agent Communication Language ACL Encodings (String and Bit-efficient ACL), content language (FIPA-SLO) and Interactions protocols (FIPA-Request Interaction Protocol, FIPA-Query Interaction Protocol).
General conclusions from the bake-off:
TC Architecture proposes:
TC Agreement Management: The goal of this TC was to define dependencies between agents to allow automatic configuration and deployment of agents (typically thousands). The work focused initially on expanding the management capabilities of the AMS, but: It is not capturing the essential nature of industrial-strength management There is no agreement on dependencies specifications. The TC goals cannot be successfully achieved without first specifying the policies and domains. Therefore, TC Agreement Management proposes to dissolve the TC Agreement Management. The need for standardisation in the area of management across platforms remains valid, but it does not need to be agent-specific. When the Domains and Policies work is completed, the Agent Configuration Management activity can continue in this new framework and a new workplan will be generated.
TC Gateways proposes that FIPA adopt the following resolutions.
The AgentCities WG proposes: To submit the Agentcities test suite document to FIPA as an input document; To request the creation of an Agentcities SIG to replace the Agentcities WG and act as a liaison between Agentcities activities and FIPA; To contribute to the Bake-off/Compliance testing workplan currently being prepared for FIPA.
The Product Design and Manufacturing WG (PD&M WG) proposes focus on 3 internal areas: Holonic Enterprise, Planning & Scheduling, Shop floor/ Machine control.
The Security WG proposes a first draft of the Security WG white-paper be circulated to the FIPA membership; That feedback on the RFI responses be given to respondents; That a final draft of the white paper be completed and circulated at least one week before the 23rd FIPA meeting
The FAB proposes
The Ontology SIG proposes that FIPA adopt the following resolutions: ·
The Liaison SIG discussed PD&M Group (Nina Berry), Digital Cities (Kiyoshi Kogure), OMG (Frank McCabe), JAS (Frank McCabe), ISO for Learning Technologies (Yasuhisa Tamura), P2P activities (Donald Steiner), Agentcities (Jonathan Dale)
The Semantics SIG proposed: To set the scope of the Semantics SIG to provide a semantic framework required to account for CA, IP and agreements, contracts, policies, service models, Ontologies etc.
The semantic framework should take into account
The FAB proposes:
TC Architecture proposed to:
TC Semantics proposed to follow the workplan f-wp-00016 to establish a semantic framework that can account for contracts, conversations, social and other relationships between agents. TC Semantics requests that FIPA issues the call for information contained in FIPA TC Semantics Call for Information, (f-out-00099). ·
The Ontology TC proposed: Comprehensive set of requirements through the use cases; Agreement on the initial white paper and first draft Publish documents FIPA-in-00043 Ontology slides, FIPA-in-00044 Negotiation, FIPA-in-00045 Draft white paper Agreement and completion of a second RFI call which is more precise about the FIPA ontological needs:
The TC Compliance proposed to draft a brainstorming document outlining the dimensions of the following:
TC Gateways proposed: 2nd FIPA TC Gateways CFT (for Ad-hoc FIPA), f-out-00089, to be approved by FAB;· Change proposals to Nomadic Application Support Specification and send to FAB. Work was delayed to FIPA24: · Message Transport Specification change proposals, Message Buffering Service to Experimental status · Messaging Interoperability Service to Experimental status (MIS spec relies on updated MTS).
The FIPA Security WG proposed t hat the current work-plan be modified to extend its final milestone, the delivery of a completed work-plan and that a final draft of the white paper be completed and circulated at least one week before the 24th FIPA meeting.
FIPA for Business Applications SIG (F4BA) was established with members: Emorphia, Siemens, Sonera, Tryllian, WebV2, … The scope is to identify application areas that derive specific benefits from agent technology and FIPA. identify the core benefits that FIPA offers over current industry practice in these areas. identify the main challenges to specify / implement FIPA specifications in these areas. initiate development and alignment of FIPA towards selected application areas. The motivation is to:
The Product Design & Manufacturing PD&M WG proposed that it be discontinued. PD&M participants wish to continue those PD&M efforts which are currently in progress: Holonic Enterprise, Planning/Scheduling, and Holonic Control Devices. · The Holonic Control Devices area will continue as a liaison relationship with the HMS (Holonic Manufacturing Systems). · The PD&M participants are encouraged to continue their fine PD&M efforts by requesting that SIGs be established for each of the remaining areas: Holonic Enterprise and Planning/Scheduling.
FIPA Board of Directors announcements. The Board intends that FIPA focuses its activities in order to maximize the added value by: promoting a core of existing “FIPA experimental specifications” towards “FIPA standard level”, developing specifications that encourage semantic integration of heterogeneous agents, deploying FIPA’s core benefits by embracing and extending major industry activities such as Web services and ad-hoc networking. Therefore the following TC, WG and SIG came to completion and are terminated: TC Architecture, TC Compliance, TC Gateways, WG interoperability, SIG Agentcities. And FIPA’s new TC, WG and SIG composition is as follows: TC Ad-hoc, TC Ontology, TC Semantics, TC X2S (Drive standards to standard status, harmonize, ensure coherency, correctness), WG Security, SIG FIPA for Business Applications (F4BA), SIG Planning and Scheduling, SIG Liaison.
FIPA Architecture Board or FAB approves TC X2S (f-wp-00019), TC Ad-Hoc (f-wp-00020). The FAB requests that the members assist TC X2S and carry the following resolutions out: Review Standards you use and which are under consideration for standard status Provide X2S with issues, and if possible proposed solutions Pay special attention to the overall consistency and harmony of the specifications Approach this process with a collegial spirit
TC Architecture proposed to suspend work on ACR to submit the Abstract Architecture specification XC00001JP to FAB to promote XC00001J to experimental specification status.
The TC compliance proposed that FIPA adopt the following resolutions: Identification of two mainstreams: profiles; conformance definition / tests; both are long-term activities No complete conformance specification and tests until July / September 2002 possible TC Compliance will be suspended by end of FIPA24 Restart approximately after FIPA27 Re-submission of workplan with differentiation between compliance and profiles
TC Gateways resolutions are as follows: Message Buffering Service specification – transition to Experimental status. 2. Submit to FAB by end of March 2002. Messaging Interoperability Service specification – transition to Experimental status. 4. Submit to FAB by end of March 2002. Device Ontology specification – transition to Experimental status. 6. Submit to FAB by end of March 2002. Dissolve TC Gateways, as it has achieved its objectives, with immediate effect.
TC Semantics proposes to continue the work of examining potential logical frameworks, in particular to pursue some combining of Jones’s and Colombetti’s approach to initiate the drafting of a semantic framework document to edit the use cases output from Pleasanton and submit as a FIPA output document
TC X2S has identified the following set of core specifications that will be the subject of its activity: Abstract Architecture (no. 1), Content Language Library (no. 7), SL Content Language (no. 8), Agent Management (no. 23), IP Library (no. 25), Request IP (no. 26), Query IP (no. 27), Contract-Net IP (no. 29), English-Auction IP (no. 31), Dutch-Auction IP (no. 32), Communicative Act Library (no. 37), ACL Message Structure (no. 61), MTS (no. 67), ACL String Encoding (no. 70), IIOP MTP (no. 75), HTTP MTP (no. 84), XML Envelope Encoding (no. 85). The TC intends to collect more information in the future, and endeavours to increase the list of analysed specifications. the TC recommends FIPA to review and clarify the criteria for proposing promotion of ‘experimental’ specification to the ‘standard’ status. A number of alternatives have been identified and reported in the minutes of the meeting. the TC recommends FIPA that the BoD define an official mechanism for the maintenance and the evolution of the standard specifications the TC requests the BoD to clarify the official vote procedure from promotion of the specs from ‘experimental’ to ‘standard’ status. A
The FIPA Security WG proposed to: To comment on the existing FIPA specifications. identified as candidates for standardization by the X2S TC, that have some security context. For example, the security group will propose a minor modification to the encryption field in the MTS [envelope] specification. To liaise with the Agentcities security WG to discuss MAS security issues for FIPA platforms in the Agentcities.net To complete a draft of the Security WG white-paper and hence to complete its current work-plan. The Security WG proposed a new work-plan will be to produce a FIPA specification for a minimal level of security of a FIPA MAS that adheres to the agent management specification / abstract architecture specifications.
FIPA for Business Applications SIG (F4BA) explored a possibility to utilise E-learning as an example application sector to study and highlight the benefits of FIPA specifications to commercial services. F4BA explored a possibility to issue a call for information about “business cases of implementing FIPA specifications”. A CFI will be drafted before FIPA25 and discussed at FIPA25. F4BA decided to write a white paper to describe FIPA technology and to highlight benefits of using FIPA technology in business applications.
FIPA creates TC Services
FIPA Architecture Board Resolutions: 1. Accepts and approves the updated Ontology Work plan (f-wp-00012A) 2. Accepts the updated work plan from the Security WG as input for review and anticipates approving Security WG taking ownership of Policy and Domain Specification (PC00089) 3. Part of the Security WG work plan dealing with fixes to existing specs assigned to X2S 4. Requests that Ontology TC and Semantics TC be scheduled for a joint working session during the 26th meeting. 5. Draws attention of the membership to the ongoing X2S work and requests their continued review of the revised specifications.
TC Ad-hoc resolutions: Consideration of three identified issues: platform discovery, service discovery, additional features Decision: handle service discovery at the agent level Write a white paper about relevant technologies for FIPA agents in mobile ad-hoc environments and possible solutions for predefined problem areas as an input paper for FIPA26 including:
TC Ontology resolutions Provide input to WebOnt for agent requirements on Ontologies before next meeting Define a second work which supports meta-ontology requirements To work on the white paper, to have a version of the white paper on requirements for the next FIPA meeting Inputs on ontology server and upper Ontologies input (intention to input and what this will be mid June end June).
TC Semantics resolutions Ad-hoc networking broadcasting issue to be investigated Ad-hoc to be discourages from using ACL to sort out LAN topology Pat Hayes (IHMC) to be asked for input To draft a white paper that: Identifies the form and features of the FIPA Semantic Framework Captures the relevant features of, primarily Andrew Jones, Marek Sergot’s, Marco Colombetti’s semantic framework. Focus on white paper Discussion on weak versus strong typed content languages.
TC Services resolutions Services TC invites the membership to comment on proposed Whitepaper drafts on Web Services bindings, Messaging and Bootstrapping services / Directory.
The X2S TC recommends FIPA:
The FIPA Security WG proposes the following resolutions: To progress with work on its new work-plan (f-wp-00011): To provide input on security related uses, such as the use of the encryption field in the message transport specification, to the X2S TC; To take interim ownership of the Policies and Domain Specification (PC00089) in order to add some use-cases for trust and security policies; To address the requirements raised in the completed security white-paper. To provide input on trust and security issues into the Adhoc TC’s forthcoming white-paper, F4B TC’s white-paper and the Ontology TC’s white-paper.
TC AdHoc proposes that FIPA adopt the following resolutions
TC Semantics proposes:
TC Ontology resolutions:
The X2S TC recommends FIPA: to publish the meeting minutes and modified specifications in the public X2S area of the FIPA Web site for review from the entire community; invite membership to collect information about implementations and usage of the FIPA specifications considered that the formal semantics model of the cancel and subscribe communicative acts has been now corrected. X2S recommends FIPA to promote to experimental the specification no. 35, fipa-subscribe Interaction Protocol and to include that specification in the list of documents to be proposed for standard.
The following specifications have been identified not to be proposed for standard because they do not meet the X2S quality criteria: spec no. 31, FIPA English Auction Interaction Protocol Specification spec no. 32, FIPA Dutch Auction Interaction Protocol Specification · this decision can be reconsidered. X2S TC recommend FIPA to register the name fipa in the IETF/IANA name space.
TC Services proposes: To analyse the input from Mitre and Fujitsu; to provide motivations for the service model Input from Fujitsu; Finalise web service and agent service cross-modelling.
Security WG proposes: To progress with work on its new work-plan (f-wp-00011):
The FAB (FIPA Architecture Board) recommends FIPA to approve the following resolutions:
FAB invites all the membership to approve the promotion
of all the following specifications to the Standard status and spread their use
both in business and academic environments. Appoint the FIPA Secretariat as the
duly designated delegate to conduct the ballot for promotion to standard
according to the process indicated in the FIPA Specification Policy,
f-out-00003A. In particular the ballot will be announced and opened on the 4th
of November 2002 and it will be closed on the 2nd of December.
The X2S Technical Committee proposes that: X2S has been through 3 iterations of accepting comments from the membership and improving the specifications. X2S now feels that the specifications are stable and ready for release. FAB has approved the specifications and therefore, X2S now asks the membership to approve these specifications for standard. X2S appoints Jonathan Dale to finalize the documents (editorial changes and final ChangeLog table) by the 4th November 2002 for release as the FIPA standards for 2002. The full list of specifications is the following:
|Identifier||Title||Go to Standard|
|XC00001||FIPA Abstract Architecture Specification||Y|
|XC00007||FIPA Content Languages Specification||N => deprecated|
|XC00008||FIPA SL Content Language Specification||Y|
|XC00009||FIPA CCL Content Language Specification||keep in X, need more analysis|
|XC00010||FIPA KIF Content Language Specification||keep in X, need more analysis|
|XC00011||FIPA RDF Content Language Specification||keep in X, need more analysis|
|XC00014||FIPA Nomadic Application Support Specification||go to Informative output document|
|XC00023||FIPA Agent Management Specification||Y|
|XC00025||FIPA Interaction Protocol Library Specification||N => deprecated|
|XC00026||FIPA Request Interaction Protocol Specification||Y|
|XC00027||FIPA Query Interaction Protocol Specification||Y|
|XC00028||FIPA Request When Interaction Protocol Specification||Y|
|XC00029||FIPA Contract Net Interaction Protocol Specification||Y|
|XC00030||FIPA Iterated Contract Net Interaction Protocol Specification||Y|
|XC00031||FIPA English Auction Interaction Protocol Specification||keep in X, need more analysis|
|XC00032||FIPA Dutch Auction Interaction Protocol Specification||keep in X, need more analysis|
|XC00033||FIPA Brokering Interaction Protocol Specification||Y|
|XC00034||FIPA Recruiting Interaction Protocol Specification||Y|
|XC00035||FIPA Subscribe Interaction Protocol Specification||Y|
|XC00036||FIPA Propose Interaction Protocol Specification||Y|
|XC00037||FIPA Communicative Act Library Specification||Y|
|XC00061||FIPA ACL Message Structure Specification||Y|
|XC00067||FIPA Agent Message Transport Service Specification Y|
|XC00069||FIPA ACL Message Representation in Bit-Efficient Specification||Y|
|XC00070||FIPA ACL Message Representation in String Specification||Y|
|XC00071||FIPA ACL Message Representation in XML Specification||Y|
|XC00075||FIPA Agent Message Transport Protocol for IIOP Specification||Y|
|XC00076||FIPA Agent Message Transport Protocol for WAP Specification||N => deprecated|
|XC00079||FIPA Agent Software Integration Specification||go to Informative output document|
|XC00080||FIPA Personal Travel Assistance Specification||go to Informative output document|
|XC00081||FIPA Audio-Visual Entertainment and Broadcasting Specification||go to Informative output document|
|XC00082||FIPA Network Management and Provisioning Specification||go to Informative output document|
|XC00083||FIPA Personal Assistant Specification||go to Informative output document|
|XC00084||FIPA Agent Message Transport Protocol for HTTP Specification||Y|
|XC00085||FIPA Agent Message Transport Envelope Representation in XML Specification||Y|
|XC00086||FIPA Ontology Service Specification||keep in X, need more analysis|
|XC00088||FIPA Agent Message Transport Envelope Representation in Bit Efficient Specification||Y|
|XC00091||FIPA Device Ontology Specification||go to Informative output document|
|XC00092||FIPA Message Buffering Service Specification||keep in X, need more analysis|
|XC00093||FIPA Messaging Interoperability Service Specification||keep in X, need more analysis|
|XC00094||FIPA QoS Specification||Y|
|Status||Number of Specs||Percentage / Total|
Thank all those people who have contributed to the meeting by sending
comments or by actively participating to the discussion and, in particular, the
editors of the documents: Fabio Bellifemine, Jonathan Dale, Jim Odell, Misty
Nodine, Heikki Helin, Hiroki Suguri. The X2S has concluded its mandate and met
all the milestones of the workplan approved by FAB, therefore X2S asks the FAB
and the BoD to dissolve the X2S TC.
TC Ad-hoc proposes to
The TC Web Services proposes:
Security WG has completed its current 2nd work-plan and will add an informative output document to the repository. That work-plan had 3 objectives and each of these has been met:
It is developing a new work-plan (to be submitted within one month of this meeting) and will produce specification(s) for MAS security so that it will form a new TC called TC “Security, Trust and Privacy”. The work plan will produce:
FIPA Architecture Board Resolutions: Approve the following work plans, create the following Technical Committees: Services, Security, Modelling, Methodology, Interaction Protocols,
Recommend FIPA to organize all the on-going activities along the following 3 clusters/tracks:
TC chairs are responsible for organizing their activities and cross-TC intra-cluster relationships, including time and technology dependencies Remind each TC that the final goal of a technical committee is not a white paper but a standard specification. Invite the Ontology TC to review its workplan in light of FIPA’s new requirements for relevant scoping . Remind TC Semantics and WG Ad-Hoc that they have concluded their work time and they have to renegotiate their milestones and deliverables. Request F4BA to finish its activities in the next two months Suspend P&S SIG because of lack of results and resources.
The WG Ad-hoc proposes that FIPA adopt the following resolutions. Scope: The WG will specify a mechanism for dynamic discovery and interoperability of FIPA agents residing in different platforms on different devices in mobile ad-hoc environments. Continuing to write the whitepaper about ad-hoc reflector until FIPA29:
The TC Modelling proposes that FIPA adopt the following resolutions. The TC Modelling participants determined that a primary goal of FIPA AUML is to be domain independent. Initially, we will examine areas the TC currently has expertise: service-oriented architecture (SOA), business process management (BPM), simulation, real-time, AOSE, robotics, information systems. Other areas will be examined over time as we can.
TC Services Resolutions The meetings had a presentation on DAML-S vs. WSDL from Margaret Lyell and began work on an Abstract Service Model based on input from Jonathan & Margaret. The scope of the Services TC is to:
The TC Security proposes the following resolutions: To progress with work on its new work-plan to:
TC Ontology Resolutions:
The TC Methodology proposes it is necessary to formally represent method fragments in order to store them in the method base. A method is essentially composed of two elements: the structure of the product (the artefact resulting from the developer activity) and the procedures necessary to construct the artefact. The first phase of this TC work will aim at creating:
TC Ad-hoc will specify a mechanism for dynamic discovery and interoperability of FIPA agents residing in different platforms on different devices in mobile ad-hoc environments. The TC will produce a whitepaper appointing possible approaches for achieving the scope (further analysis / classification of relevant existing ad-hoc and P2P technologies / mechanisms; investigation in relevant use-case scenarios; overview of possible architectures).
Discussion about the current Agent Discovery Service specification proposal version 1.0. Decisions taken: ADS will be an independent component / agent and will have an ACL interface and its own ontology (ADS will allow Combination of own and existing ad hoc / P2P discovery mechanisms); Specification will be MTS-like. Open points: Profile for ADS or any DM (discovery middleware) to describe the actual discovery capabilities (agent discovery, platform discovery, …) in order to act accordingly.
TC Modelling did the following during its meetings:
The TC Services meetings was a Review of Status of Specifications. Agent and service fundamental tech issues impacting service composition or aggregation Including: Orchestration vs. Co-ordination, Ramifications for Service Description, FIPA Service Description, Mapping to DAML-S.
TC Semantics. The topic "Enabling Information Exchange with Semantics Concepts" was presented by Everett Sherwood (Motorola Laboratories). • Included in the talk were: o A Review of Low-Level Semantics (word, sentences, categories, and their organizations) o The use of Questions and Answers as a Basis for Exchange.
FIPA Architecture Board or FAB informs the entire FIPA membership that the RFC3616 has been approved and published by IETF. It defines the ‘fipa’ URN. At the next meeting, Misty Nodine will make a short tutorial on URNs and a proposal on how FIPA can best exploit this URN. FAB wishes to create a proper software infrastructure that allows accessing (both by humans and by software) and maintaining all the catalogues that FIPA has and is going to define, including glossary of terms and definitions, catalogue of communicative acts, interaction protocols, content languages, Ontologies, specifications, encodings, MTPs, ... FAB calls for proposals from the FIPA community about the requirements and the possible solutions for such an infrastructure.
TC Ad-Hoc had discussions about current specification draft:
TC Modelling proposed:
TC Semantics proposed: A draft of a revised work plan was submitted consideration at the Opening Plenary. The first in a series of presentations: “On Eliciting Requirements for Agent Semantics from Linguistics Concepts" was given by Everett Sherwood (Motorola Laboratories). Included in the first talk were:
TC Security The main achievements at the meeting were discussions related to a discussion of the FIPA f-in-00095 proposal. Need to add:
The FIPA Security TC proposes the following resolutions: To progress with its work to complete its current work-plan
TC Methodology proposed that FIPA adopts the following resolutions:
The Interaction Protocols TC began with presentations on differing views on Interaction Protocols. These presentations presented alternative perspectives and made clearer some further work that needs to be done on the current AUML interaction diagrams. The Interaction Protocols TC thanks the following presenters:
The Interaction Protocols TC agreed that the current workplan is insufficient. As a result of our discussion, we agreed that the workplan would span a period of two years, and include the following:
FIPA Architecture Board FAB proposed:
TC Ad-hoc discussions
TC Methodology proposed that:
w.r.t. existing Fragments evaluation and abstraction level comparison:
We looked at the already defined fragments and argued that some levels of abstractions could be identified and an hierarchical composition of such fragments is possible. This possibility should be pursued during the identification and definition of future fragments
We identified the need of analysing the different level of abstractions that could be useful in fragments description (work definitions, activities and steps) and produce some guidelines about their use in fragments extracted from different methodologies
Method base structure
An initial specification for the method base structure (proposed by A. Garro and L. Sabatucci) has been discussed and several modifications introduced in it. Further work will be done offline interacting in the mailing list with the aim of consolidating an initial model for the next meeting.
We analysed the three meta-models of ADELFE, GAIA and PASSI and concluded
that they can be seen as an extension of the Modelling TC MAS meta-model. o In
order to avoid confusion, specific methodology meta-models will be labelled
using the syntax:
Further studies will be carried on in order to identify commonalities among meta-models that could help in composing a new meta-model reusing the existing ones or eventually unify a core for them · Fragment definition o We analyzed comments from some members and accepted few of them
As a consequence, members are discouraged from using entry 9 of fragment definition (dependency relationships among different fragments) since this information will be more properly located in the method base and therefore further work will be done to express it in the method base structure ·
TC Modelling proposes the following resolutions:
TC Security: The main achievements at the meeting were discussions related to the FIPA f-in-00095 document. This is close to being a completed preliminary specification proposal.
Informal advice has been sought from the FAB regarding dealing with the general issue of extending existing current standard specifications, in particular the abstract and concrete envelope specifications) to support the new envelope security extension. Currently, it is proposed that a new extension field be added to the current envelope standard specifications that points to a set of extension headers, one of which is the new security header (another, in the future, could be a possible QoS header). At this time, it is left to the FAB to state more exactly the process for dealing with enhancements to current specifications.
TC Semantics had excellent technical discussions and resolved: to Draft and Circulate: Goal / proof of success; White Paper Outline; White Paper; Establish Awareness of other standards / languages; query languages, conferences, organizations, human contacts (e.g., W3C semantics, AgentCities, AgentLink…).
TC Methodology proposes to recognize the importance of guidelines for composition of fragments in a new methodology and decomposition of an existing one in order to obtain useful fragments. The different approaches for composing fragments we identified at this stage are:
TC Methodology proposes:
The Modelling TC proposed that:
TC Security: There were discussions related to the FIPA f-in-00095 (secure message envelope) document for consideration by the FAB to be a preliminary spec. This is close to being a completed preliminary specification proposal. Currently, it is proposed that a new extension field to support security should itself be extensible that points to a set of extension headers, one of which is the new security header (another, in the future, could be a possible QoS header). A proposal has been drafted for submission to the FAB. There is a HTTP grounding for the envelope but no IIOP grounding for it. Consider if the current representation of the syntax in terms of a frame-based ontology should be a UML · There were discussions related to creating a more general specification of an agent security model · It was felt that this model should comprise a concept model, profile model, policy model and process model. This TC is still discussing how to define these models. · It is also felt that this model overlaps with work being done in the TC services, TC Modelling and TC semantics. · A paper is being presented by this TC on this model to the SASMAS-2004 work-shop at AAMAS-2004/
TC Semantics had several excellent technical discussions. During this meeting the following was accomplished: ·
TC Services proposed to:
FIPA Architecture Board reports the following activities since the last meeting:
See separate document found here.
The IEEE FIPA Standards Committee has two kinds of groups that contribute to the standards process: working groups (WG) and Study Group (SG)
Working Groups are established to carry out standardization projects within the scope of the FIPA SC. Each Working Group shall be responsible for the definitive content of one or more standards projects and for responding to views and objections thereon. A working group is expected to produce its first PAR (Project Authorization Request) within six month of charter acceptance.
The following working groups have been formed and approved:
The FIPA SC may form a Study Group for up to 12 months to foster usage standards or the appropriateness of standards or standards development projects. The SG should have a work plan which include specified deliverables. Study Groups do not produce standards specifications.
The following study group has been formed and approved: