Issues and Extensions for Information Matchmaking Protocols


As agents see more use in dynamic, distributed information networks, information sharing facilitators, such as the SHADE matchmaker, and underlying knowledge-based agent communication protocols, such as the Knowledge Query and Manipulation Language, will see increased use. We have created several communities of agents collaborating via KQML and matchmaking within the domains of collaborative engineering and satellite image retrieval. Based on these experiences, matchmaking has proven to be very beneficial for multi-agent systems, but we have also identified a number of issues and extensions that are not only vital to KQML-based matchmaking, but to inter-agent protocols in general. These include representational approaches to advertising complex databases, approaches to error recovery and response timing, maintaining consistency among information providers, scalability, security, persistent requests in information brokering, and the dilemma between explicit vs. implicit brokering.