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Knowledge in a SiFA

  The knowledge that has to be present in a SiFA is determined by the tasks the agent has to carry out (shown in figure 4.3). Each agent has to have knowledge about how to perform these tasks.

Figure 4.3: The knowledge contained in a SiFA

The types of knowledge can be roughly divided into three categories. The first one contains design and redesign knowledge. The design knowledge allows the agent to carry out its main function which may be one of selection, estimation, evaluation, criticism or praise. The redesign knowledge is used when the agent has to produce a value, estimate, evaluation, criticism or praise after it has already produced it once. This is necessary when the first entity produced causes a conflict in the system and the agent is asked for another one during negotiation. This situation is explained in chapter 6.

The second category contains conflict indication, detection, and classification knowledge that is used to carry out the respective tasks of conflict handling. These typically involve checking if some constraints which are internal to the agent, referred to as internal constraints are violated or not. These tasks are explained in detail in chapter 6. The knowledge in this category also includes the knowledge of the types of conflicts in which the particular agent can be involved.

The third category consists of negotiation strategy selection, refinement, and execution knowledge. This category of knowledge enables the agent to negotiate with other agents in conflict situations. Negotiation strategies and the associated tasks are also explained in chapter 6.

Ilan Berker
Thu Apr 27 16:25:38 EDT 1995