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Applying Multi-agent Concepts to Dynamic Plug-In Architectures.

Cabac, Lawrence; Duvigneau, Michael; Moldt, Daniel; Rölke, Heiko

In: Lecture Notes in Computer Science : Agent-Oriented Software Engineering VI, Volume 3950, 2006, pages 190-204. 2006. URL:

Abstract: In this work we present the basic concepts for a dynamic plug-in-based software architecture using concepts from the Petri net-based MAS framework Mulan. By transferring the concepts of agent-orientation to a plug-in-based architecture we are able to design our application and the plug-in-based system on an abstract level. Moreover, general problems that evolve from a highly dynamic and configurable architecture have been solved by basing the conceptual design on multi-agent principles. In this paper we discuss the general properties of extensible systems and the benefits that can be achieved when applying the multi-agent view to their architecture. In addition to the conceptual modeling of such architectures, we provide a practical example where the concept has been successfully applied in the development of the latest release of Renew. Through the introduction of the multi-agent concepts, the new architecture is now - at runtime - dynamically extensible by registering plug-ins with the management system.

Keywords: Components; dynamic software architectures; high-level Petri nets; modeling; Mulan; multi-agent systems; nets-within-nets ; plug-in architectures; reference nets; Renew.

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