This week's SSP meeting will be split into two related parts. The first one is a rehearsal for a presentation of a paper at a workshop of ETAPS'01 to be held in Genoa next week (see http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/groups/ssp/etaps2001/ for details)
The second part is a discussion on the current state of affairs of an attempt to implement electronic institutions, an approach to agent-based computations ( http://www.iiia.csic.es/~jsabater/SLIE-web/EI.html).
We present two simple approaches to implementing MAS using currently available technologies for parallel logic programming (Prolog). The first approach employs the Linda tuple space concept introduced in the early eighties: agents are independent Prolog processes that communicate via the tuple space. The second approach uses multi-threading: agents share the same knowledge base but each of them is executed by its own independent thread within one same Prolog session. We have implemented platforms incorporating each approach and we shall briefly explain them, listing their advantages and drawbacks.
Agent-based programming can be very difficult. Attempts to recycle existing methods and tools only have granted limited success. Electronic institutions are formal organisational frameworks for large amounts of heterogeneous agents. We shall briefly present e-Institutions then introduce a proposal for their distributed implementation.