Matching Requests for Agent Services with Differentiated Vocabulary

Peter Weinstein, William P. Birmingham

To enable decentralized development of large societies of agents, agents should be able to selectively team with others based on declarative descriptions of services, rather than a priori knowledge.' This capability is difficult to achieve because descriptions written by different developers may be terminologically heterogenous-including vocabulary from ontologies that are potentially inconsistent. For example, one agent might describe its service as (a formal equivalent of) "query planning for high-school biology", while another agent wants to "find collections for advanced life sciences". We want the latter agent to recognize that the former might satisfy its request. We have completed research on two aspects of this problem. Our Service Classifier Agent (SCA) supports selection of agent services in societies that are dynamic and evolving, but whose agents all use the same ontologies [Weinstein and Birmingham 97]. We have also developed an algorithm that identifies maximal similarity between concept definitions that are terminologically heterogenous [Weinstein 95].

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