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Automating the product derivation process of multi-agent systems product lines
Cirilo, Elder and Nunes, Ingrid and Kulesza, Uirá and Lucena, Carlos (2011) Automating the product derivation process of multi-agent systems product lines. Journal of Systems and Software . ISSN 0164-1212 (In Press)
Agent-oriented software engineering and software product lines are two promising software engineering techniques. Recent research work has been exploring their integration, namely multi-agent systems product lines (MAS-PLs), to promote reuse and variability management in the context of complex software systems. However, current product derivation approaches do not provide specific mechanisms to deal with MAS-PLs. This is essential because they typically encompass several concerns (e.g., trust, coordination, transaction, state persistence) that are constructed on the basis of heterogeneous technologies (e.g., object-oriented frameworks and platforms). In this paper, we propose the use of multi-level models to support the configuration knowledge specification and automatic product derivation of MAS-PLs. Our approach provides an agent-specific architecture model that uses abstractions and instantiation rules that are relevant to this application domain. In order to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed approach, we have implemented it as an extension of an existing product derivation tool, called GenArch. The approach has also been evaluated through the automatic instantiation of two MAS-PLs, demonstrating its potential and benefits to product derivation and configuration knowledge specification.
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