ARGUGRID aims at providing a new model for programming the Grid at a semantic, knowledge-based level of abstraction through the use of argumentative agent technology. Agents are associated with service/resource requestors and service/resource providers on the Grid. Argumentation technology is used to support rational decision making, internal to agents, as well as negotiation, amongst agents, all required to facilitate the dynamic composition of Grid services/resources into executable workflows. Argumentation is also used to support the creation, management and dynamic evolution of Virtual Organisations, understood as societies of agents, to compose individual services into more complex ones.
ARGUGRID aims at making an impact upon the Grid research area via the new model, as well as a corresponding system architecture supporting agents, their interactions, Virtual Organisations and web service standards, and a platform supporting the implementation of the models over the Grid via peer-to-peer and overlay network techniques. It also aims at impacting business and business practices, by empowering Grid-enabled e-business application where multiple service providers and requesters exist. Although focussing on e-business scenarios, its results will be outreaching to all kinds of applications empowered by the Grid.
- Within ARGUGRID, agents are associated with service/resource requestors and service/resource providers.
- With the support of argumentation processes, agents decide which services can be used to fulfil the demands of users and the constraints posed by providers, taking into account their preferences and the utilities they assign to situations, and evolving and using a notion of trust to "filter" their interactions with other entities.
- The dynamic composition of ubiquitous resources and services enabled by the Grid and demanded by applications requires agents to create, manage, join and, eventually, dissolve Virtual Organisations, to compose individual services into more complex ones.
- Virtual Organisations are understood as agent societies, equipped with contracts, committing the participating agents to specific courses of action, and executable workflows. Notions of social welfare, borrowed from welfare economics, may have an impact upon the behaviour of individual agents in the societies.
- Argumentation serves as a unifying medium to provide a model for agent-based semantic Grid systems, in that it can support:
- the reasoning and decision-making process of agents controlling/requiring access to resources/services over the Grid,
- the inter-agent negotiation process to reach an agreement on shared and coordinated access to resources and services meeting requirements,
- the definition of workflows and contracts emerging from the negotiation and representing at a high level the resource and service composition, derived at run-time from partial specifications provided by users and service providers, and, finally,
- the resolution of disputes and disagreements amongst agents with respect to agreed workflows and contracts.