To the FIPA Home Page

FIPA Methodology Technical Committee

Working Area


Home    Glossary Guideline  Meta-model  Method Base   Members List

(Methodology) Meta-model

One of the initial activities of this TC work consists in the creation of the meta-model that will be used to describe the existing methodologies and the multi-agent system structure (MAS meta-model). An important contribution to this approach comes from an OMG specification, the Software Process Engineering Metamodel (SPEM). This is the natural candidate to be the meta-model adopted in this TC activity for processes since it is already an accepted standard in the OO context (and OO process are not too different from the AO ones).

We will evaluate the possibilities offered by SPEM in the specific agent-oriented context. Several existing methodologies will be described with this meta-model (see below) and if specific needs will emerge we will evaluate the possibility of extending it.

From the descriptions of methodology processes we will extract the method fragments. A method fragment is a reusable part of a design process that taking some already designed pieces of the system produces a new part of the design following a precise procedure. These fragments will be collected in a method base. This introduces the second step of the methodology TC plan: the study of possible technological solutions for the implementation of this database in order to obtain a representation of the fragments that could be easily supported in a CASE/CAME (Computer Aided Software Engineering/Computer Aided Method Engineering) tool.

MAS Metamodel

We think that designing a system (object or agent-oriented) consists in instantiating the system meta-model that the designer has in his/hers mind in order to fulfill the specific problem requirements. This meta-model is the critical element in applying the method engineering paradigm to the agents world.

Referring to a MAS meta-model we mean a structural representation of the elements (agent, role, behavior, ontology,\dots) that compose the actual system with their composing relationships.

The usefulness of the proposed methodological approach, therefore, depends on the availability of a standard definition of the MAS structure.

As discussed above, we are currently exploring the process description of some diffused MAS design methodology with SPEM. Having these, we will be able of reasoning on the differences in the MAS meta-models that are present in the different approaches (not all of them specifically address FIPA agents). At the end we will obtain a large omni comprehensive meta-model of the MASs.  This will include generic elements (e.g. the agent) but also specific ones (e.g. the cooperative agent referred in the ADELFE methodology).  

While the meaning of terms like agent, role,... will be defined in the glossary activity (see the glossary page), the relationships among them will be modelled as parts of this work (see Working documents below).

Repository of Fragments

The availability of a sufficient number of fragments is fundamental for enabling a smooth and successful methodology assembling process. Members of this working group has produces a repository that now includes fragments from several well-known agent-oriented design methodologies (Adelfe, Gaia, PASSI, TROPOS) as well as specific-purpose fragments (MaCMAS).




Method Fragments Scheduled Sources*


*If you want to contribute to the identification of method fragments from the listed methodology or other ones, please send an email to .


Working Documents


MAS Meta-models

Fragments extracted from design methodologies (or totally new ones)

Many other fragments can be found in the OPEN Framework repository (see Open Process Framework website) although they are documented according a little different approach (see the Open website)

(see above the Specifications section for method fragment definition)

Method Base Implementation

Other stuff



Method Engineering and composition of new processes


Methodologies, Processes and Process Models

MAS Meta-Models