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# KQML Papers and presentations

Contents

## KQML Specifications

#### 1993 KQML Specification

Specification of the KQML Agent-Communication Language -- plus example agent policies and architectures, by The DARPA Knowledge Sharing Initiative External Interfaces Working Group, with major contributions from Tim Finin (co-chair),University of Maryland ; Jay Weber (co-chair),Enterprise Integration Technologies ; Gio Wiederhold (former co-chair),Stanford University ; Michael Genesereth,Stanford University ; Richard Fritzson,Donald McKay,Paramax Systems ; James McGuire,Richard Pelavin,Lockheed AI Center ; Stuart Shapiro,SUNY Buffalo ; Chris Beck,University of Toronto. [ PDF ]

This document is a draft of an initial specification for the KQML agent communication language being developed by the external interfaces working group of the DARPA Knowledge Sharing Effort. KQML is intendewd to be a high-level language to be used by knowledge-based system to share knowledge at run time.

#### 1996 Proposal for a new KQML Specification

A Proposal for a new KQML Specification, Yannis Labrou and Tim Finin, TR CS-97-03, February 1997, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Department, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD 21250. [ PDF ]

#### Comments on the FIPA '97 Agent Communication Language

Comments on the specification for FIPA '97 Agent Communication Language, Yannis Labrou and Tim Finin, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore Maryland USA, February 28, 1997.

#### KQML as an agent communication language

KQML as an agent communication language Tim Finin, Yannis Labrou, and James Mayfield, in Jeff Bradshaw (Ed.), Software Agents'', MIT Press, Cambridge, to appear, (1997).[ PDF ]

#### KQML as an agent communication language

Tim Finin, Yannis Labrou, and James Mayfield, KQML as an agent communication language (Postscript, 500K bytes), invited chapter in Jeff Bradshaw (Ed.), Software Agents'', MIT Press, Cambridge, to appear, (1995).

#### On Agent Domains, Agent Names and Proxy Agents

Tim Finin, Chelliah Thirunavukkarasu, Anupama Potluri, Donald McKay, and Robin McEntire, On Agent Domains, Agent Names and Proxy Agents, proceedings of the ACM CIKM Intelligent Information Agents Workshop, Baltimore, December 1995.

#### A Language and Protocol to Support Intelligent Agent Interoperability

A Language and Protocol to Support Intelligent Agent Interoperability , Tim Finin, Rich Fritzson and Don McKay, Proceedings of the CE \& CALS Washington 92 Conference , June 1992.

We describe a language and protocol intended to support interoperability among intelligent agents in a distributed application. Examples of applications envisioned include intelligent multi-agent design systems as well as intelligent planning, scheduling and replanning agents supporting distributed transportation planning and scheduling applications. The language, KQML for Knowledge Query and Manipulation Language, is part of a larger DARPA-sponsored Knowledge Sharing Initiative focused on developing techniques and tools to promote the sharing on knowledge in intelligent systems. We will define the concepts which underlie KQML and attempt to specify its scope and provide a model for how it will be used.

#### KQML: An Information and Knowledge Exchange Protocol

Tim Finin, Don McKay, Rich Fritzson, and Robin McEntire, "KQML: An Information and Knowledge Exchange Protocol", in Kazuhiro Fuchi and Toshio Yokoi (Ed.), Knowledge Building and Knowledge Sharing , Ohmsha and IOS Press, 1994. [ PDF ]

#### An Overview of the Darpa Knowledge Sharing Effort

An Overview of the Darpa Knowledge Sharing Effort Neches, R, et. al, Principles Of Knowledge Representation And Reasoning: Proceedings of the Third International Conference (KR92), Bernhard Nebel, Charles Rich, and William Swartout, eds. Morgan Kaufman, 1992.

#### A semantics approach for KQML -- a general purpose communication language for software agents

A semantics approach for KQML -- a general purpose communication language for software agents , Yannis Labrou and Tim Finin, Third International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM'94), November 1994. [ PDF ]

We investigate the semantics for Knowledge Query Manipulation Language (KQML) and we propose a semantic framework for the language. KQML is a language and a protocol to support communication between software agents. Based on ideas from speech act theory, we propose a semantic description for KQML that associates descriptions of the cognitive states of agents with the use of the language's primitives (performatives). We use this approach to describe the semantics for the basic set of KQML performatives. We also investigate implementation issues related to our semantic approach. We suggest that KQML can offer an all purpose communication language for software agents that requires no limiting pre-commitments on the agents' structure and implementation. KQML can provide the Distributed AI, Cooperative Distributed Problem Solving and Software Agents communities with an all purpose language and environment for intelligent inter-agent communication.

#### KQML as an Agent Communication Language

Tim Finin, Richard Fritzson Don McKay and Robin McEntire. KQML as an Agent Communication Language, The Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM'94), ACM Press, November 1994.

An html version of this paper without the figures is also available.

This paper describes the design of and experimentation with the Knowledge Query and Manipulation Language (KQML), a new language and protocol for exchanging information and knowledge. This work is part of a larger effort, the ARPA Knowledge Sharing Effort which is aimed at developing techniques and methodology for building large-scale knowledge bases which are sharable and reusable. KQML is both a message format and a message-handling protocol to support run-time knowledge sharing among agents. KQML focuses on an extensible set of performatives, which defines the permissible `speech acts'' agents may use and comprise a substrate on which to develop higher-level models of interagent interaction such as contract nets and negotiation. In addition, KQML provides a basic architecture for knowledge sharing through a special class of agent called {\it communication facilitators }which coordinate the interactions of other agents The ideas which underlie the evolving design of KQML are currently being explored through experimental prototype systems which are being used to support several testbeds in such areas as concurrent engineering, intelligent design and intelligent planning and scheduling.

#### Evaluation of KQML as an Agent Communication Language

James Mayfield, Yannis Labrou, and Tim Finin, Evaluation of KQML as an Agent Communication Language, in Intelligent Agents Volume II -- Proceedings of the 1995 Workshop on Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages. M. Wooldridge, J. P. Muller and M. Tambe (eds). Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, Springer-Verlag, 1996.

This chapter discusses the desirable features of languages and protocols for communication among intelligent information agents. These desiderata are divided into seven categories: form, content, semantics, implementation, networking, environment, and reliability. The Knowledge Query and Manipulation Language (KQML) is a new language and protocol for exchanging information and knowledge. This work is part of a larger effort, the ARPA Knowledge Sharing Effort, which is aimed at developing techniques and methodologies for building large--scale knowledge bases that are sharable and reusable. KQML is both a message format and a message--handling protocol to support run--time knowledge sharing among agents. KQML is described and evaluated as an agent communication language relative to the desiderata.

#### Desiderata for Agent Communication Languages

Desiderata for Agent Communication Languages, James Mayfield, Yannis Labrou, and Tim Finin, Proceedings of the AAAI Symposium on Information Gathering from Heterogeneous, Distributed Environments, AAAI-95 Spring Symposium, Stanford University, Stanford, CA. March 27-29, 1995. A postscript version is also available.

This paper offers some opinions on the desirable features of languages and protocols for communication among intelligent information agents. These desiderata are divided into seven categories: form, content, semantics, implementation, networking, environment, and reliability. The Knowledge Query and Manipulation Language (KQML), is a new language and protocol for exchanging information and knowledge. This work is part of a larger effort, the ARPA Knowledge Sharing Effort, which is aimed at developing techniques and methodologies for building large-scale knowledge bases which are sharable and reusable. KQML is both a message format and a message-handling protocol to support run-time knowledge sharing among agents. KQML is described and evaluated as an agent communication language relative to the desiderata.

#### Secret Agents -- A Security Architecture for the KQML Agent Communication Language

Secret Agents -- A Security Architecture for the KQML Agent Communication Language, Chelliah Thirunavukkarasu (EIT), Tim Finin (UMBC) and James Mayfield (UMBC), October 1995. 220K bytes postscript. CIKM'95 Intelligent Information Agents Workshop, Baltimore, December 1995.)

KQML is a message protocol and format for software agents to communicate with each other. In this paper we discuss the security features that a KQML user would expect and an architecture to satisfy those expectations. The proposed architecture is based on cryptographic techniques and would allow agents to verify the identity of other agents, detect message integrity violations, protect confidential data, ensure non-repudiation of message origin and take counter measures against cipher attacks. 10/23/95.

## Papers on the projects which have used KQML

#### The Role of Java in InfoSleuth: Agent-based Exploitation of Heterogeneous Information Resources

Nigel Jacobs and Ray Shea, The Role of Java in InfoSleuth: Agent-based Exploitation of Heterogeneous Information Resources, Microeclectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC), Austin, Texas, 1996.

"...InfoSleuth is a consortial research project at MCC which is developing technologies for addressing these issues. Based on MCC's successful Carnot project, InfoSleuth is developing a network of semi-autonomous software agents which perform semantic data integration and retrieval across a widely distributed network environment. To achieve this, the project employs recent advances in ontology management, data mining, workflow automation, object brokering and language translation. The InfoSleuth architecture consists of agents communicating with each other via the high-level language KQML. Queries are specified in the flexible knowledge representation language KIF, with respect to common ontologies that are managed in knowledge-base management systems such as Ontolingua and CLIPS. The queries are routed by mediation and brokerage agents to specialized agents for data retrieval from distributed resources, and for integration and analysis of results. User interaction with this web of agents is via a personalized intelligent user agent which communicates with the user via Java applets running inside a Java-capable Web browser such as Netscape." 6/23/96

#### An architecture for information agents

Donald McKay, Jon Pastor, Rbon McEntire and Tim Finin, An architecture for information agents, Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Artificial Intelligence Planning Systems (ARPI Supplement), (AIPS-96), AAAI Press, May 1996.

#### COOL - A Language for Describing Coordination in Multi Agent Systems

COOL - A Language for Describing Coordination in Multi Agent Systems, Mihai Barbuceanu and Mark Fox, Enterprise Integration Laboratory, University of Toronto. (mihai@ie.utoronto.ca, (416)987-0910)

Agent interaction takes place at several levels. Current work in the ARPA Knowledge Sharing Effort has addressed the information content level by the KIF language and the intentional level by the KQML language. In this paper we address the coordination level by means of our Coordination Language \050COOL\051 that relies on speech act based communication, but integrates it in a structured conversation framework that captures the coordination mechanisms agents use when working together. We are currently using this language to represent coordination mechanisms for the supply chain of manufacturing enterprises modeled as intelligent agents and as an environment for designing and validating coordination protocols for multi-agent systems. This paper describes the basic elements of this language: conversation objects, conversation rules, error recovery rules, continuation rules, conversation nesting. The actual COOL source code and a running trace for the n-queens problem are presented in the Appendix.

#### Towards the Knowledgeable Community

Nishida, and Hideaki Takeda, Towards the Knowledgeable Community, in: Proceedings International Conference on Building and Sharing of Very-Large Scale Knowledge Bases '93 (KBKS '93), pp. 157--166, 1993.

#### Agent communication with multiple ontologies

Hideaki Takeda, Kenji Iino, and Toyoaki Nishida. Agent communication with multiple ontologies. In Proceedings of FGCS'94 Workshop on Heterogeneous Cooperative Knowledge-Bases, Tokyo, December 1994. ICOT. pages 111-124. A postscript version is also avaiilable.

#### The Cycic Friends Network: Getting Cyc agents to reason together

James Mayfield, Tim Finin, Rajkumar Narayanaswamy, Chetan Shah William MacCartney & Keith Goolsbey, The Cycic Friends Network: Getting Cyc agents to reason together. Proceedings of the CIKM '95 Workshop on Intelligent Information Agents. (PostScript version, 150Kb), Presentation Slides (PostScript version, 350Kb).

#### PACT: An Experiment in Integrating Concurrent Engineering Systems

Mark Cutkosky, Robert Engelmore, Richard Fikes, Michael Genesereth, Thomas Gruber, Jay Tenenbaum, Jay Weber, PACT: An Experiment in Integrating Concurrent Engineering Systems .

The Palo Alto Collaborative Testbed (PACT) is a laboratory for joint experimentation in computer-aided concurrent engineering being pursued by research groups at Stanford University, Lockheed, Hewlett-Packard, and Enterprise Integration Technologies. The current prototype integrates four preexisting concurrent engineering systems into a common framework. Each individual system is used to model different aspects of a small robotic manipulator, and to reason about them from a different engineering perspective (dynamics, digital electronics, and software). The systems interact via knowledge-based communication languages and services. Initial PACT experiments have explored engineering knowledge exchange in the context of a distributed simulation and simple incremental redesign scenario. This paper describes the nature of these experiments, the technology underlying them, and the results produced.

#### SHADE: Technology for Knowledge-Based Collaborative Engineering

McGuire, Kuokka,Weber, Tenenbaum, Gruber, and Olsen. SHADE: Technology for Knowledge-Based Collaborative Engineering. Journal of Concurrent Engineering:Research & Applications, 1(3), Academic Press, September 1993.

#### Information Agent: An Infrastructure Agent Supporting Collaborative Enterprise Architectures

M. Barbuceanu and M.S.Fox: The Information Agent: An Infrastructure Agent Supporting Collaborative Enterprise Architectures, Proc. Third Wokshop on Enabling Technologies: Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises, IEEE Computer Society Press, 1994, pp 112-117.

#### Tove Manual (TOronto Virtual Enterprise)

Tove Manual (TOronto Virtual Enterprise) . A draft of a part of the U of Toronto's TOVE manual (TOVE = TOronto Virtual Enterprise) which is the basis for their work in Supply Chain Management. It describes TOVESim -- a discrete event simulator that uses KQML as it's transport language. This is a work-in-progress paper and so there are various abbreviations for references.

## Papers on KQML-related topics

#### Communicative Actions for Artificial Agents

Cohen, P.R. and H.J. Levesque [1995]. Communicative Actions for Artificial Agents, Proceedings of the International Conference on Multi-Agent Systems, AAAI Press, San Francisco, June, 1995.

This paper considers the semantics of the agent communication language KQML. By using this language for communication, agents will be able to request and provide services. Indeed, numerous projects have shown how the language can profitably support interoperation among distributed agents. However, before becoming a widely-accepted standard, it would be worthwhile to examine the language in detail, especially the semantical issues it raises. This paper identifies numerous difficulties with the language, and an attempt is made to point to their resolution. The paper illustrates the kind of semantics we believe to be necessary to characterize agent communication languages, identifies an important adequacy condition (compositionality) and shows how to compose a question from a request and an inform. Finally, the paper discusses possible impacts to be felt on various KQML decisions from the semantical issues raised here.

#### AgenTalk: Coordination Protocol Description for Multiagent Systems

Kuwabara, K., Ishida, T., and Osato, N., AgenTalk: Coordination Protocol Description for Multiagent Systems , Proc. ICMAS '95 (1995).

#### Modelling Interaction in Agent Systems

Modelling Interaction in Agent Systems, Angela Dalmonte and Mauro Gaspari, University of Bologna.

## Presentation on KQML and related topics

• KQML -- A Language for Information and Knowledge Sharing -- or A Language for Knowbots . 34 Slides (in color postscript) comprising a presentation given by Tim Finin at the 13th DAI workshop. (big -- almost 3M). The citation is:

Rich Fritzson, Tim Finin, Don McKay and Robin McEntire. title: KQML - A Language and Protocol for Knowledge and Information Exchange , 13th International Distributed Artificial Intelligence Workshop July 28-30, 1994: Seattle WA.

• KQML -- A Language and Protocol for Knowledge and Information Exchange . 48 Slides (in color postscript) comprising a presentation on KQML given by Tim Finin at the International Conference on Building and Sharing of Very Large-Scale Knowledge Bases, Tokyo, December, 1993.

## Other relevant documents

#### A Vision of an Integrated Internet Information Service

A Vision of an Integrated Internet Information Service . In this ietf, the authors put forth their vision of an integrated Internet information service which ties together the information services currently deployed and allows them to work together.

#### Resource Transponders

Resource Transponders In this ietf, the author describes a mechanism for automatically maintaining resource location systems which contain pointers to resources.

### CORBA Specification

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