Blekinge Institute of Technology, Department of Software Engineering and Computer Science
The articles presented in this research report are the results of student efforts in the Agent Programming course, held each year at Blekinge Institute of Technology (Department of Software Engineering and Computer Science). The course aims at giving the students an insight into the vast research and industrial application area of autonomous agents and multiagent systems. Consequently, during the course the students have been introduced to the major areas of the agent domain, including: autonomous agents, multiagent systems, engineering of multiagent systems, and areas of applicability. Of course, these areas of research are quite complex and each unique lecture was therefore held by a specific researcher. Among this staff of expertise were researchers from the Societies of Computation programme (IPD/BIT), Imperial College of London, Royal Institute of Technology (DSV), and Massive Entertainment (a swedish game-development company). A new, and important, aspect of the course this year was that each student was required to participate in the writing of a research paper, on a subject within the domain of autonomous agents and/or multiagent systems. The overall goal with these research papers was to, in a natural manner, introduce the students to the process of gaining scientific knowledge, prior to courses involving thesis material. The articles presented in this report are therefore focused on the identification of a certain problem and a subsequent solution to the problem. The results of this part of the course have now been gathered in this research report, and are to be presented during the Blekinge Institute of Technology Student Workshop on Agent Programming (BITSWAP) 2001. The articles presented during the workshop, but also those that did not make it until the workshop submission deadline, have all focused on very diverse areas of research, still positioning themselves in the paradigm of autonomous agents and multiagent systems. Therefore, it was extremely difficult, if not impossible, to gather any larger number of the students? efforts under certain categories such as; architectures, communication, engineering, mediation, or simulations. Instead, this research report (workshop proceedings) have been divided into two general categories, reflecting the two types of articles produced by the students: theoretical and practical reports. Among the specific topics introduced by the authors are: cooperation, methodologies, societal and security aspects, agents on the web, and agents in the entertainment industry. I am very happy to conclude that the articles produced this year by the students are of exceptional quality and that they have chosen to pursue topics of interest not only to themselves, but to their fellow students as well as the workshop review board. Finally, without mentioning too many specific names, I would just like to give a few acknowledgements to all of you that have contributed to the course, especially to the students and all of the researchers involved in the Societies of Computation programme (Rune Gustavsson, Paul Davidsson, Stefan Johansson, Christer Rindebäck, Anders Johansson, and Johan Lindblom), Keith Clark, Harko Verhagen, and Dan Andersson. Martin Fredriksson, Ronneby - Sweden. December 31, 2000.