Integrating Process Modelling into Multi-Agent System Engineering

AutorTobias Küster, Marco Lützenberger, Axel Heßler, and Benjamin Hirsch
QuelleMultiagent and Grid Systems - An International Journal, 8(1):105-124, January 2012 

While today's agent oriented software engineering facilitates the development of complex, distributed systems, fundamental problems remain. One of the problems is that the developer sees only part of the system, or one side of the business, but not the whole context. The Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) is considered a remedy here, but while suitable for modelling some aspects of agenthood, there are others for which BPMN does not go very well. While well-suited for modelling behaviours and especially interactions at a high level of abstraction, BPMN is too cumbersome for modelling every detail of a process and too rigid for modelling dynamic behaviours. Therefore, BPMN has to be embedded into the agent engineering process such that its strengths can be exploited while avoiding its weaknesses. In this paper, BPMN is used mainly for modelling the agents' high-level behavior and communication, leaving other aspects to established agent programming techniques. The approach is applied for the JIAC multi-agent framework, for which a respective mapping of concepts is given. Finally, the prospects of such an approach are discussed, especially regarding the usage of BPMN for modelling dynamic aspects in agent systems.