|Newsletter March 26, 2001
AGENTLAND NEWSLETTER March 26, 2001
Get smart, get an agent
o Agent News
o Download of the week
o Research organizations
o Conferences - Workshops
Making an agent: who, why, how?
If customizing your agent - setting its parameters - can be seen as an essential step in optimising its capacities, some people will want to go further and make their own agents, out of pure intellectual curiosity or to create something that perfectly meets their personal needs. In order to open up the world of agents to the largest number of people, AgentLand would like to introduce you to some of the tools of the job.
Whether you are just discovering agents or an experienced programmer, the theme of this week's newsletter is an opportunity to get to know the different languages, methods and tools used in agent development. The resource directory also offers you useful links to explore the practical and theoretical bases of agent technology, as well as an insight into current research and development which is taking place in the field of intelligent agents and artificial intelligence.
Meanwhile, the downloadable Agent Development Kits (ADK) and Software Development Kits (SDK) will allow those with programming skills to bring their ideas to life.
AgentLand encourages you to become more familiar with the goals and the reasons behind agents; it also gives you the chance to investigate the vision of a network populated by autonomous, mobile and collaborative agents. And, why not, to even participate in its creation, whether you are a professional or an enthusiastic amateur!
Find out how to develop an agent on AgentLand: http://www.agentland.com/Download/8How_to_develop_an_agent/
Find out about research into agents: http://www.agentland.com/Download/9Research/
N E W A G E N T S
>> Development tools <<
> Tryllian ADK
The Tryllian ADK allows application programmers to define the components required to build an agent-based application. Developers of Java-based e-commerce, data warehouse and workflow management applications can create software agents that enable them to use a network more dynamically and effectively than ever before. These mobile agents will have true mobility, autonomy and scalability.
Evo is an artificial life development framework that allows developers to build complex alife simulations. Using Evo, researchers can easily build systems of independent agents interacting with one another and with their environment. Evo implements biological operators such as genetic recombination and mutation to evolve the behavior of agents so that they are more adapted to their environment.
For computer artists and hobbyists alike, Poser generates dynamic, figure-based content while providing a valuable introduction to 3D. Poser is a 3D-character animation and design tool. Users can create images, movies, and posed 3D figures from a diverse collection of fully articulated 3D human and animal models. Libraries of pose settings, facial expressions, hand gestures, and swappable clothing are included as well.
>> Programming languages <<
MAML (Multi-Agent Modelling Language) is a programming language for building agent-based models. This environment is intended to support scientists and students of social sciences, who are not experts in programming, doing research in computer-assisted modelling. By using the MAML-defined structure and the MAML keywords, the task of creating a simulation in Swarm becomes much easier for both programmers and non-programmers.
AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language) is an XML specification for programming chat robots like ALICE, created by Dr. Richard Wallace and now developed by the Alice user community. The emphasis in the language design is minimalism. The simplicity of AIML makes it easy for non-programmers, especially those who already know HTML, to get started writing chat robots. AIML is Open Source, available under the terms of the GNU Public Licence.
ARIML (Acquired Response Intelligence Markup Language) is an XML specification used for the development of Internet droids and chatter bots. The goal of ARIML is to provide a simple and straight forward protocol for intelligent bot development, one that is simple enough for the laymen to master, yet robust enough to power the most complex AI programs. ARIML is a spin-off of the Artificial Intelligence Markup Language (AIML), which was created by Dr. Richard Wallace.
>> Communication languages <<
The DAML (DARPA Agent Markup Language) language is being developed as an extension to XML and the Resource Description Framework (RDF) that will allow users to provide machine-readable semantic annotations for specific communities of interest. One of the goals of the DAML program is to create technologies that will enable software agents to dynamically identify and understand information sources, and to provide interoperability between agents in a semantic manner.
>> Frameworks <<
> Java Agent Services
The Java Agent Services project is an initiative to define an industry standard specification and API for the development of network agent and service architectures. These pages are intended as a contact point and resource repository for those involved with the JCP2 Java Agent Services specification. This body of work is motivated by the now extensive use of the Java language in the development of agent based systems. The specification itself addresses the definition of interfaces for agent communication, representation and services.
>> Chatterbots <<
Ask Elvis to play you a song! And don't forget to tell your friends that you have seen The King alive and well on the Internet! Elvis is an Alice clone.
Dorothy is a web based "chatbot" with a personality inspired by Dorothy Parker, Jazz Age poet and ultimate party girl! There's an empty bar stool next to her. Why don't you slide on over and see if you can start up a conversation? She is good at answering direct questions, but her vocabulary is a bit limited right now. Be gentle; if you confuse her too much she starts drinking!
A G E N T U P D A T E S
>> Search agents <<
> Copernic: the 2001 version is here!
see the Download of the Week below
>> Monitoring agents <<
> The Informant: the spy who left me
The Informant, the online monitoring and alerting service, will shut down on April 30, 2001, and no longer sends email alerts nor accepts new users. After creating it as an enjoyable hobby, the Informant team no longer has the time to perform the behind-the-scenes programming work that keeps the service running smoothly. Their technology should however reappear in a couple of months in a notification service tailored to the computer-security domain, at the Institute for Security Technology Studies. Existing Informant users can login as usual to recover their queries and URLs until the final shutdown date.
EPrompter, the email notification utility that automatically checks up to eight password protected email accounts, has been updated. This new version includes a unique Rotating Tray Icon that shows the number of messages in each account. You can now choose from five screensavers to keep you informed of new messages.
>> Browsing agents <<
> Offline Explorer Pro
There is a new release of Offline Explorer Pro, the agent specialized in downloading web sites for later viewing, browsing or editing off-line. The new features in the 1.6.392 release include a handy Project Wizard, improved Site Map context menu for easy navigation on the loaded Web sites, better processing of HTML, Java scripts and applets, XML/XSL and Flash applets and autodetection of Proxy servers.
A new release of NavRoad, the off-line browser designed for viewing HTML and web image files, is available. NavRoad now supports Frames, Tables, Forms, Meta Refresh, Background Music and Client Side Image Maps . You can listen to .wav format files with the built-in WAV player.
________________/ COMMUNITY \__________________
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DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEK
> Copernic 2001
Copernic.com has launched the fifth generation of its metasearch tool, Copernic. The new 2001 version contains several new features and improvements including a new "Quick Search" bar, Web page previews and better integration of results translation features. In addition, it is now possible to launch Copernic Summarizer from within Copernic 2001 with the 'Summarize' button to obtain a summary instantly of any retrieved document.
The more powerful versions of the software, Copernic 2001 Plus and Copernic 2001 Pro, now offer access to more than 1000 information sources - 400 more than previous versions. 93 specialized search categories are now available.
PaPeRo, developed at NEC, stands for 'Partner type Personal Robot'. It has two modes: 'Walking mode' and 'Talking mode'. When it has nothing to do, PaPeRo will wander around the room, using visual and ultrasonic sensors, for fun or to look for someone. When PaPeRo finds a person, it will try to communicate with the person. Its behavior and reaction to you will change according to your behavior towards the robot. PaPeRo's stand-alone architecture means it can be easily taken out of the laboratory and into many different locations, environments and situations, which in turn allows much more practical and experimental research.
> Wrist Companion
Seiko present their Wrist Companion at the CeBIT trade show in Hanover, Germany. Developed at the Seiko Wearable Technology Lab, the Wrist Companion allows you to exchange verbal and written information with a flick of the wrist. It links to a cellular phone using Bluetooth and WAP technology to access a range of services and applications. All this is combined with a fashionable design - another step towards the integration of wearable computers in our daily life.
> Microsoft® Outlook® Mobile Manager
Microsoft® Outlook® Mobile Manager is a desktop PC application that extends the power, reach and functionality of the Microsoft Outlook messaging and collaboration client to a wide variety of mobile devices. Mobile Manager uses a number of new technologies developed by Microsoft Research. Those technologies, which include context sensing, automated learning and reasoning, natural language processing, and customizable priority profiles, enable Mobile Manager to adapt to users in varying contexts to determine what information is most urgent and should be sent to their mobile device.
> Association Française pour l'Intelligence Artificielle (AFIA)
The Association Française pour l'Intelligence Artificielle (AFIA – French Association for Artificial Intelligence) is an organization, created in 1989, which has more than 350 members. The AFIA has a scientific vocation: the promotion of French-language research of international standard quality. There are many working groups, and the AFIA also publishes a newsletter.
CONFERENCES - WORKSHOP
> Fifth International Symposium on Autonomous Decentralized Systems (ISADS 2001)
The ISADS 2001 Symposium, with an emphasis on electronic commerce, is being held on March 26-28, 2001 at Dallas, Texas, U.S.A. ISADS 2001 primarily focuses on advancements and innovation in Autonomous Decentralized Systems concepts, technologies, and applications related to the increasingly important topic of Electronic Commerce.
> Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour (AISB'01) Convention
The AISB'01 convention was held on 21st - 24th March 2001 at the University of York, United Kingdom, and organised by the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour. The topics of the convention included Adaptive agents and multi-agent systems, Nonconscious intelligence, Information agents- Emotion, cognition and affective computing, etc.
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