Goal and Research Topics

The general goal of this year workshop is twofold: The first goal is to study the role of agent-oriented software engineering in the design phase of agents development. It is well known and accepted that agents - from the software engineering perspective - are of particular interest as an analysis abstraction. This has been true for several years but the most recent advancements in agent-oriented programming languages have proposed new challenges: software engineers may now design their solutions in terms of agents. The old need of moving to the object-oriented level of abstraction is overpassed and the new developing platforms allow for a more natural transformation of AO analysis models into AO design models. This reality has been soon perceived by researcher and practitioners. An example of this new trend may be found in the refreshed interest about testing of agents.

The second goal concerns the other side of the proposed ideal bridge: the needs of new design approaches specifically suited for facing the needs of self-organizing systems, autonomic systems and systems of systems. In the last years we have seen considerable research efforts on these topics; however, only few of them have their scope and foundations in the software engineering field.

Novel efforts are necessary to cope with these new challenges in order to find specific solutions that could bring such systems from research to industrialization. In this context, a means for bridging the above mentioned research (and application) streams may come from the advances on organizations, norms, and institutions. Are they mature enough for being applied to stable agent-oriented languages and for contributing to the engineering of self-organizing and autonomic systems? The proposed aim is find an answer to this question or to propose further hints for future investigations on the application of organizations, norms and institutions to the design of agent-oriented systems.

Topics of regular papers include: