FIPA Methodology Technical Committee
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.
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).
Adelfe (C. Bernon, M. P. Gleizes, M.P. Huget)(available in the Working Documents section)
DIVA (R. Levy), (scheduled for 15/09/2003)
Gaia (A. Garro, M.P. Huget, P. Turci) (available in the Working Documents section)
MadKit (M.P. Huget) (scheduled for ??)
MESSAGE (M.P. Huget, P. Massonet) (scheduled for ??)
PASSI (M. Cossentino, L. Sabatucci) (available in the Working Documents section)
RUP (M.P. Huget, J. Odell) (scheduled for ??)
Tropos (P. Giorgini) (scheduled for 31/08/2003)
*If you want to contribute to the identification of method fragments from the listed methodology or other ones, please send an email to .
ADELFE: Using SPEM Notation to Unify Agent Engineering Processes and Methodology (pdf)
PASSI process with SPEM - draft, rel 0.3 (zipped pdf), March 2004
GAIA process (pdf), 14-03-04
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
SPEM profile for Microsoft Visio (stencil)
Method Engineering and composition of new processes
M. Cossentino, V. Seidita. Composition of a New Process to Meet Agile Needs Using Method Engineering. Software Engineering for Large Multi-Agent Systems vol. III. LNCS Series, Elsivier Ed. (2004). (draft)
A. Chella, M. Cossentino, L. Sabatucci, and V. Seidita. From PASSI to Agile PASSI: Tailoring a Design Process to Meet New Needs. In Proc. of IEEE/WIC/ACM International Joint Conference on Intelligent Agent Technology, Beijing, China, September 2004. (draft)
A. Garro, G. Fortino, W. Russo. Using Method Engineering for the Construction of Agent-Oriented Methodologies. In Proc. of WOA 04 - Dagli Oggetti agli Agenti, Sistemi Complessi e Agenti razionali, pages 51–54, Torino, Italy, December 2004.
J. Ralyté, and C. Rolland. An assembly process model for method engineering. In Proceedings of the 13th Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering, CAISE01, Interlaken, (Switzerland), (2001)
J. Ralyté and C. Rolland. An approach for method reengineering. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 27–30, 2001.
S. Brinkkemper, M. Saeki, and F. Harmsen. Meta-modelling based assembly techniques for situational method engineering. Information Systems, 24, (1999)
J. Pena, R. Corchuelo. Evaluation Framework of features to deal with Complexity in Analysis (zip)
Cossentino M., Hopmans G., Odell J. FIPA Standardization Activities in the Software Engineering Area. Workshop on Object and Agents (WOA'03) Villasimius (Italy). Sept 2003 (zipped pdf )
Motoshi Saeki. Software Specification & Design Methods and Method Engineering. International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering.
Incremental Method Engineering with Modeling Tools: Theoretical Principles and Empirical Evidence. Phd Thesis of Juha-Pekka Tolvanen. Available online here.
S. Brinkkemper. Method engineering : engineering of information systems development methods and tools. Information and Software Technology 38 (1996) 275-280.
B. Henderson-Sellers. Method Engineering for OO Systems Development. Communications of the ACM, 46(10), 2003.  B. Henderson-Sellers. Creating a comprehensive agent-oriented methodology - using method engineering and the OPEN metamodel. In B. Henderson-Sellers and P. Giorgini, editors, Agent-Oriented Methodologies Idea Group, 2005.
T. Juan, and L. Sterling, and M. Winikoff. Assembling Agent Oriented Software Engineering Methodologies from Features. In Proc. of the Third International Workshop on Agent-Oriented Software Engineering, at AAMAS’02.
K. Kumar and R. Welke. Methodology engineering: a proposal for situation-specific methodology construction. In Challenges and Strategies for Research in Systems Development, pages 257–269, 1992.
Methodologies, Processes and Process Models
C. Gonzalez-Perez, Brian Henderson-Sellers. A powertype-based metamodelling framework. Software & System Modeling (2005) 00: 1–19.
L. Cernuzzi, M. Cossentino, F. Zambonelli. Process Models for Agent-Based Development. International Journal on Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence (EAAI). Elsevier. 2004. (In printing). (draft)
C. Bernon, M.P. Gleizes, S. Peyruqueou, G. Picard. Adelfe, a methodology for Adaptive Multi-Agent Systems Engineering. Third International Workshop "Engineering Societies in the Agents World" (ESAW-2002), 16-17 September 2002, Madrid.
Bernon C., Gleizes M-P., Picard G., Glize P. - The Adelfe Methodology For an Intranet System Design - In Fourth International Bi-Conference Workshop on Agent-Oriented Information Systems (AOIS-2002), Toronto (Ontario, Canada) at CAiSE'02, 27-28 May, 2002.
- ADELFE, web site. (documentation in SPEM, see working documents section)
- PASSI: a Process for Agents Societies Specification and Implementation (web site) (documentation in SPEM, see working documents section)
- L. Padgham and M. Winikoff. Prometheus: A methodology for developing intelligent agents. In Proc. of the Third International Workshop on Agent-Oriented Software Engineering (AOSE), LNCS 2585, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 2003.
F. Zambonelli, N. R. Jennings, and M. Wooldridge. Developing Multiagent Systems: The Gaia Methodology. ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology, 12(3):317–370, 2003.
C. Bernon, M. Cossentino, M. Gleizes, P. Turci, and F. Zambonelli. A study of some multi-agent meta-models. In Proc. of the Fifth International Workshop on Agen-Oriented Software Engineering (AOSE-2004) at The Third International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS 2004), New York, USA, July 2004. (pdf)
J. Ferber, and O. Gutknecht. A Meta-model for the Analysis and Design of Organizations in Multi-agent Systems. In Proc. of the 3rd International Conference on Multi-Agent Systems (ICMAS’98), pages 128–135, 1998.
J. Odell, M. Nodine, and R. Levy. A Metamodel for Agents, Roles, and Groups. In Agent-Oriented Software Engineering
(AOSE) V, 2005.
Agentlink III - Proposal of Unified MAS Meta-Model. AOSE TFG Budapest meeting website.