Martin, David L. and Cheyer, Adam and Lee, Gowang Lo. Agent Development Tools for the Open Agent Architecture, in Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Practical Application of Intelligent Agents and Multi-Agent Technology, London, pp. 387-404, Apr 1996.
The agent-based paradigm for software systems cannot realize its full potential, and will not become widespread, until adequate agent development tools and environments are available. To address this need, an exploration of the requirements for such tools and environments has been conducted in the context of the Open Agent Architecture (OAA) project, and has resulted in the creation of the Agent Development Toolkit (ADT). The ADT provides a variety of mechanisms that support the specification and implementation of individual agents, as well as cooperating communities of agents. Special attention has been given to tools that enable an agent developer to construct intelligent user interfaces, which allow users to express their requests of agents using spoken and written natural language in combination with other modalities. This paper discusses a number of general requirements that were identified for agent development environments, reports on the design and functionality of the ADT, and shows how the ADT addresses those requirements. In addition, we describe our experience to date in constructing OAA-based agent systems, and future directions in extending the ADT.