3Designing a Multi-agent Autonomous System

3.1. Introduction

We consider an autonomous system that has a substratum with an object layer ensuring its control and an interpretation system that, generating representations, enables the autonomous system to consider its situation, define its preoccupations as well as plan and specify its actions. We have seen that such an interpretation system must be strongly proactive and must be composed of weakly proactive elements, software agents. In this chapter, we detail the architecture of such a system and we precisely describe how to agentify the knowledge in all the system’s components in order to ensure that appropriate representations are produced. This chapter thus highlights the system’s architecture, which originality is its integrated massively multi-agent oriented composition.

3.2. The object layer on the substratum

The autonomous system has a precise functional substratum that is made of many physical and electronic components such as productive machines, measuring and control devices, video cameras, and elements that enable the system to move and act on things of its environment. The functional ontologies that were used during the design phase provide the knowledge necessary to the description and operation of the system, which is nowadays a very common approach. The functional elements of the substratum, as well as all their operating characteristics and interactions, are represented by objects that are instances of classes. ...

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