Modena Technical Forum Group on Intelligent Information Agents for Web Economies
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Intelligent Information Agents for Web Economies

    Intelligent Information Agents for Web Economies
    Sonia Bergamaschi
    University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
    official web page:
    Matthias Klusch, DFKI Saarbruecken, Germany
    official web page:
    The TFG on Intelligent INformation Agent for Web Economies initiative stems from the AgentLinkII SIG on Intelligent Information Agents (IIA). The SIG main focus was to collect researchers in the field of information systems and multi-agent systems. More precisely the TFG proposal stems from the results obtained in the Agent-Based Information System working group of the SIG on Intelligent Information Agents. Achievements have been accomplished as far as information access and integration (the MOMIS/MIKS system, the Xyleme system), mobile information systems (the MIA system) and web ontologies (MAFRA). TFG aims at further develop the results obtained during previous work by IIA. Thanks to the agent abstraction, we can easily view the three identified fields as converging towards next generation information systems. The work will thus aim at investigating agent capabilites in this context to provide more accessible, open and interoperable services. This implies that results from successful areas pertaining to multi-agent systems, such as coordination and resource management (Professor Matjaz Gams, Jozef Stefan Institute, Slovenia has expressed interest in presenting a load-balancer MAS) must be integrated to advance information systems.

    As far integration system, we will focus on supporting knowledge intensive processes (like those involving team design of complex artifacts) that require distributed data integration and processing. Understanding such systems through the abstraction of agents appears to be one practical solution. Building on past experiences done during ALII SIG on IIA working group, the TFG represent an opportunity to take these results towards industry (Cadence provides the test-bed for this comparison).

    As far mobile information systems, new work has been proposed to the former SIG on IIA group. The TFG will thus include a session dedicated to new implemented solutions of multi-agent systems which provide users advanced and/or seemless services. An example is given by the prototype GenialChief whose new version will be demonstrated at the meeting. Another research topic in this session focuses on the role of agents in distributed data mining: The usage of agent technology provides potential added value to distributed data mining in a large network of heterogeneous sources, but also raises concerns about data privacy and security, and the trustworthiness of agents. In particular, it is crucial that such concerns be addressed in order to fulfill data owners's requirements on privacy, since privacy plays an essential role in the motivations of most research on distributed data mining systems. New partners from emergin countries have proposed to participate, introducing their research (Professor Matjaz Gams, Jozef Stefan Institute, Slovenia has expressed interest in presenting EMA, an employment agent).

    As far web ontologies, we will focus on the negotiation of ontology-mapping-based information integration. This is a vivid research field and one of the key issues in building next generation semantic web services. Some TFG participants have already had experiences on this and are keen to share and receive feedback on their ongoing work.

    The TFG represent an initiative aiming at glueing together for this work. The three fields of the TFG are strongly related by the pool towards information systems that hold two distinctive features: are based on semantics and their architecture is moulded by the new wave of distributed, mobile systems.

    The TFG is expected to establish new cooperations among research groups in the related areas mentioned above, but also to strengthen existing contacts and focus scattered efforts for research on and development of intelligent information agents. This includes promotion of collaborative projects and cross fertilisation of ideas between nodes of the AgentLink Network of Excellence which are active in R\&D of information agents.

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