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Prof. Dr. M. Jarke
RWTH Aachen
Informatik 5
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Deliberation in a modeling and simulation environment for inter-organizational networks

Year 2003
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Inter-organizational networks of people, information and communication systems are often described by the interplay between individual goals and actions and the strategic dependencies among individuals and subgroups. Our research aims at improving requirements engineering for such networks by not just representing these goals and dependencies statically, but also by studying the dynamic interactions between both. In previous work, we proposed the prototype environment SNet for the representation and dynamic evaluation of agent-based designs for inter-organizational networks. A key feature of SNet was the automatic translation of extended i* models into the action language ConGolog. While this allowed the simulation of agent networks specified in i*, the resulting agents were purely reactive, which limits the usefulness of the system, in particular as a decision-support tool for network members, who need to evaluate the utility of different courses of action. In this paper we propose to remedy the situation by explicitly incorporating deliberation into the agent design of SNet. At the level of i*, deliberation is represented in terms of goals which are satisfiable by different tasks or agents. Utilities are modeled, in part, using the existing concept of softgoals, which are given a quantitative interpretation. At the level of ConGolog, decision-theoretic features are built into the interpreter, which drives the simulations, and the process of delegating tasks to other agents is explicitly represented.

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In J. Eder / M. Missikoff (eds.): Advanced Information Systems Engineering. 15th Intl. Conf. CAiSE 2003, Velden/Austria 2003, Springer-Verlag, LNCS 2681, pp. 242-257

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