Monday, Afternoon
Beyond Objects: Unleashing the Power of Adaptive Agents
Convention Ctr – 208B
James Odell, James Odell Associates
William Tozier, Tozier Consulting

Now that agents are just beginning to become an accepted method to package the working software elements of a business, it’s time to consider what the future holds for business systems that are completely built out of agents. This tutorial explores the future in which agents become autonomous, adaptive, mobile entities inside the business networks of an enterprise - where the agents can be software, machines, and/or people. It focuses on the potential power (and complications) of design in a multi-agent setting, and introduces participants to ways of thinking beyond individual, isolated software agents to consider entire systems of interacting agents that adapt and evolve. The tutorial surveys a wide range of agent-based systems, both natural and artificial, that are being studied within the field of Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS), and considers the lessons they offer for the engineering of autonomous object systems.

Participants will be encouraged to think about agents in new ways by incorporating the science and research directions of complex adaptive systems. In particular, recent results from studies of multi-agent dynamics and emergent phenomena will be discussed.

Presentation Format: Lecture

Attendee Background: No specific requirements other than basic familiarity with object-oriented concepts, and a willingness to expand them.

James Odell is an IT consultant and practitioner specializing in object-oriented and agent-based approaches. Throughout most of his 30-year career, he has been heavily involved in developing better methods to manage, understand, and express business system requirements. Now, he is one of the first practical implementers of object and agent modeling, and implementation – consulting to major companies worldwide. He is a very experienced and highly-regarded educator and speaker. James Odell is also the co-chair of OMG’s Agent Work Group and Analysis and Design Task Force.

William Tozier is a technical consultant and advisor specializing in engineering projects involving complex adaptive systems. Originally trained as a molecular and cell biologist, he has spent the last nine years working as an academic and professional researcher. His recent work includes genetic programming and other evolutionary optimization methods applied in diverse engineering fields, coevolutionary dynamics, theoretical biochemistry and protein folding, novel methods for drug lead compound discovery in the pharmaceutical industry, bioinformatics, and studies of the origin of life.

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