Agents Meet Databases

Munidar P. Singh and Michael N. Huhns

Course Description

Agents have been gathering an increasing amount of attention lately in the research community, from funding agencies, and even in the lay press. Successful agent applications, especially in information-rich domains, will depend not only on AI techniques but also on a solid understanding of the underlying database issues.

The science of Cooperative Information Systems (CIS) synthesizes AI and database results to develop effective systems - those composed of existing, heterogeneous components within an enterprise, as well as those whose components are independently developed and designed to behave autonomously in separate enterprises. Applications of CIS include telecommunications, virtual enterprises, logistics, healthcare, and manufacturing automation, to name but a few. CIS is distinguished from other AI work in agents by involving robust database techniques for capturing and using semantics through abstractions such as data models, ontologies, transactions, relaxed transactions, and workflows.

This tutorial will present the necessary concepts, architectures, theories, techniques, and infrastructure to build cooperative information systems. It will include a comprehensive overview of the state of the art in agent applications in distributed, heterogeneous databases.

We believe a tutorial such as this one, which combines AI, databases, and distributed computing, is essential for anyone trying to quickly come up to speed on a vast research area. This tutorial will guide practitioners by describing implemented, tested agent-based approaches to large-scale information access and management. It will introduce graduate students and other researchers to a new area with lots of exciting and important problems.

Prerequisite Knowledge

The tutorial is self-contained. No special background is assumed.

About the Lecturers

Munidar P. Singh (Ph.D., Texas, 1993) directs the Database Laboratory at North Carolina State University. He authored the book "Multiagent Systems" and several papers on agents and databases. Dr. Singh is the Americas program chair for the 1997 International Conference on Cooperative Information Systems, and the general chair for the 1997 International Workshop on Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages. He serves on the editorial board for IEEE Internet Computing and as an editor of Agent-Based Computing. Dr. Singh received the US National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

Michael N. Huhns (Ph.D., South California, 1975) directs the Center for Information Technology at the University of South Carolina. He edited the books "Distributed Artificial Intelligence," volumes 1 and 2, and authored over 100 papers and reports. Dr. Huhns has served on numerous conference committees and advisory boards and is an Associate Editor for IEEE Expert and ACM Transactions on Information Systems. He serves on the editorial boards for the International Journal of Cooperative Information Systems, the Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, and IEEE Internet Computing.

Last modified: Thu Feb 20 13:42:09 JST 1997