Information Agents in Database Systems as a New Paradigm for Software Developing Process by ijcsiseditor


More Info
									                                                         (IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,
                                                         Vol. 9, No. 4, April 2011

      Information Agents in Database Systems as a New
         Paradigm for Software Developing Process.
                               Eva Cipi                                                            Betim Cico
            department of informatics engineering,                                    department of informatics engineering,
                    University of Vlora,                                                Polytechnic University of Tirana,
                      Vlora, Albania,                                                            Tirana, Albania

Abstract— This work aims at giving new possible solutions                widely used in database applications? Can we add new
combining an information agents architecture and database                services by setting new agents without compromising the
techniques in the management of information. We consider                 processing and time? Can we develop better solutions if we
agents as powerful tools for handling the systems’ complexity and        build a new model by combining agents and data mining in
very efficient to bring modularity in software development. Here
                                                                         database systems? In light of these questions we started to
is presented a case study of an agent-based architecture which
uses information agents dedicated to the specific tasks of the           develop an application simulating a business environment.
business process management and other intelligent agents that            We will note the performance of the system by observing
will try to extract the knowledge from databases and to offer            agent behavior. The environment is a software component
intelligent decisions.                                                   shielding the agents from details of the real world and
                                                                         providing the interfaces for perception, action and
Keywords- information agent; database system; software                   communication to the agents.[2] Modeling a software
development; multi-agent-based architecture;                             architecture is an essential step for the development of
                                                                         complex systems, including Multiagent Systems (MAS).[3]
                          I.     INTRODUCTION
                                                                         Ideal solution is a logical value chain with different
This work is focused on designing a model of agent based                 components focused on providing the services required for
systems which will bring information agents as useful tools in           handling time-variant information.[4]
management process of knowledge collection in order to gain
many advantages. Intelligent Agents are used for modeling                                 III.   INFORMATION AGENTS
simple rational behaviors in a wide range of distributed                    An “information agent” is a software agent that is closely
applications. Intelligent agents have received various, if not           tied to a source or sources of data, as opposed to being tied
contradictory, definitions; by general consensus, they must              closely to a human user’s goals (so called “interface agents”),
show some degree of autonomy, social ability, and combine                or the processes involved in carrying out an arbitrary task (so
pro-active and reactive behavior [1]. First we discuss about             called “task agents”).[5] In general such distinctions are
software agents and databases, the architectures that support            necessarily part of a spectrum, but in this document we use the
traditional DBMS modules; and the need to integrate agent                term “information agent” to denote a specific class of
techniques for the increase of the efficiency of knowledge. In           implemented agents with certain input/process/output
general, Database Management Systems are known as passive                behavior.[6] An information agent is an agent that has access
systems that become active only in response to requests from             to at least one, and potentially many data sources, and is able
end users or application programs. A possible approach is to             to collect and provide information obtained from these sources
make use of the information agent technology to add a reactive           in order to answer queries given by users and/or other
capacity to the system that enables autonomous activity and              information agents (the network of interoperating data sources
extensibility. Second we show a simulation that includes four            are often referred to as intelligent and cooperative information
information agents that support four different tasks taking              systems). The data sources may be of many types, including,
inputs from the same source and giving solutions as suggested            for example, traditional databases as well as other information
messages.                                                                agents. Finding a solution to a query might involve an agent
                                                                         accessing information sources over a network or a database.
                    II.    RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
                                                                         Information agent is an autonomous computational software
    The research tries to show the relations between the agents          entity that is especially meant to provide a proactive resource
and database techniques. We consider these relations very                discovery, and to offer value-added information services and
useful because we believe the agents make their job much                 products. It is capable to provide transparent access to one or
faster and much better than other object.                                many different data sources. [7]
Several interesting questions arise in connection with the
current research: Can we find a good model which becomes
   Identify applicable sponsor/s here. (sponsors)

                                                                                                    ISSN 1947-5500
                                                                 (IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,
                                                                 Vol. 9, No. 4, April 2011

   Figure 1 describes the advantages of using information                      the efficiency of an agent?” Well it is very hard to make an
agents as powerful techniques for gathering information and                    agent to evaluate his performances. That’s why the man is the
using it to make good decisions in a brief time.                               one who establish a standard of what it means to be successful
                                                                               in an environment and use it to measure the performance of
                                                                               agents. The used architecture puts the agent between user
                                                                               interface and DBMS. Users are represented by their agents in
                                                                               the third layer. The purpose of the agents is to bring to the user
                                                                               individualized information and relevant messages as good as
                                                                               possible. To adapt its owner’s information demand the agent
                                                                               collects message specific relevance evaluations given by its
                                                                               owner.[10] The agents communicate through messages and
            Figure 1. Information agent utilization advantages
                                                                               evaluate information giving solutions for the user. In the
                                                                               middle of the system there is an executive agent that has the
                                                                               role to facilitate the communication between agents. It has also
            IV.     AGENTS AND DATABASE SYSTEMS                                the role to evaluate the performances of other agents and to
                                                                               accept or to reject the registration of an agent into the agency.
    The integration of both technologies would even increase
the complexity of the system. It would be imperative to                               V.    CASE STUDY OF AN AGENT BASED SYSTEM IN
develop an architecture that is focused on finding one with a                                      WAREHOUSE DATABASES
high level of abstraction that hides the complexity, with no                       For this case study we use agent based architecture and
direct consequences. The most powerful tools for handling                      tend to adapt it to the market environment. This architecture
things in software development are modularity and abstraction.                 uses information agents well defined to act and to do specific
[8] Agents represent a powerful tool for making systems                        actions of information management. The particularity of this
modular. If a problem domain is particularly complex, large, or                architecture is the modularity: that means we can add other
unpredictable, then it may be that the only way it can                         agents specifying the task first. They extract and offer
reasonably be addressed is to develop a number of modular                      information in real time which can be used to take advantages
components that are specialized (in terms of their                             to make good decisions. The intelligent systems and especially
representation and problem solving paradigm) at solving a                      agent based systems can offer the needed tools for expertise
particular aspect of it.                                                       storing in a database management system.[11]
    In such cases, when interdependent problems arise, the                        The case study will show that developing an agent based
agents in the system must cooperate with one another to ensure                 system on information management would be very useful. In a
that interdependencies are properly managed. In such domains,                  market environment of relationships between products, clients
an agent-based approach means that the overall problem can be                  and sellers there is a continuous exchange of information
partitioned into a number of smaller and simpler components,                   where the main requirement is the guarantee of the high level
which are easier to develop and maintain, and which are                        of service performance.[12]
specialized at solving the constituent sub problems.
                                                                               A. DFD description
A. Architectures of information agents
                                                                                   In the figure 3. we present the Data Flow Diagram of the
In the Figure 2 there are three integration architectures                      agent based system. The system is based on database files
between agents and DBMSs: Layered, Integrated and Built-in.                    which store all the data. The agency is included in the
Each one of the three integration architectures has advantages                 Administration Software.
and disadvantages.                                                             Each agent needs to perform action to discover changes in its
                                                                               environment. The agents can percept using queries (the
                                                                               action). The DBMS (data software) accesses between agents
                                                                               and database repository.
                                                                                  Through studying stakeholder requirements, we have
                                                                               detected four services which the agents can cover successfully:
                                                                                    Expertise of selling and inventory (selling agent)
                                                                                      Display the changes of prizes (display agent)
  Figure 2. Architectures for the integration of Agent Systems and DBMS
                                                                                      Expertise order amounts (order agent)
    The Layered architecture is the one implemented in most of                        Suggestions of prices (price agent)
the existing approaches. An information agent is anything that
can be viewed as perceiving its environment through sensors
and acting upon that environment through effectors. [9] An
information agent is one that does the things like he percepts
them, analyzes them and based on these it acts without
remembering his history. A question is “how do we measure

                                                                                                            ISSN 1947-5500
                                                                  (IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,
                                                                  Vol. 9, No. 4, April 2011

                                                                                many other factors that classify it as a critical system for the

         Figure 3. Data Flow Diagram of the agent based system.

We divide the module of Administration Software in these
functionalities made by developing four independent agents.
Figure 4 shows the data flow inside the system. The manager
needs information in two modes: off-line and on-line. Each
activated agent gives services and either offers suggestions on
prices or makes orders by detecting alert zones for every
record, or creates required reports, gives supply solutions, and
even shows the points where human service is needed. For
example, the visualization agent offers data to distribute in a
network of displays taking a map of coordinates for each
B. The architecture.                                                                          Figure 4. Example of the price agent algorithm
In order to save the modularity of the system, we use the
                                                                                   The approach taken gives another agent framework and has
layered architecture combined with build in architecture. We
                                                                                a number of advantages coming from the artificial intelligence
think this is the best choice of three architectures in order to
                                                                                world and standard object-oriented architectures. The adoption
develop and integrate new agents without implicating the
                                                                                of Java guarantees a widely available, well supported
collection of autonomous agents with a particular expertise.
                                                                                execution environment.
For example we can add a data mining agent. It can use data
that is already integrated. There are several actions that must                              VI.    CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE WORK
be made before the data gets to the data mining agent. These
                                                                                       At the end of this paper we give some consideration:
actions are: data cleaning, data integration, transformation and
pattern discovery. We will consider it in the future works.                              This paper presents a model of database system
                                                                                          architecture that implements benefits of using agent
   The algorithm in the figure 4 is used to present one of the
                                                                                          techniques and database management system. In the
agents: price agent. We activate the agent even though it                                 process of studying different architectures, we have
conflicts its definition of the autonomy. The agent acts                                  chosen the layered architecture in order to raise the
continuously asking the value of Control_parameter if it is                               level of abstraction.
positive or negative. The parameter is calculated by the agent
using data gathered from the relevant records. (see formula                             We use unique method to develop independent
(1)). The agent can discover its environment in a second                                 information agents where every agent has a specific
manner of perception: action.[13] It sends requests to the                               task to complete. Agents act independently,
DMBS and takes reports from the database for three variables                             nevertheless they can collaborate with users.
from each record:                                                                       We learned that distribution of functionalities to a
     1. Daily_average(selling[i])                                                        database system can be resolved very well using the
     2. Expiry_date[i]                                                                   information agent as an easy way to support database
     3. Inventory[i]                                                                     services complexity.
   The agent offers the new price but it can not decide for a
new value confirmed. Here is the end of the agent task and the                          We have developed four information agents
human operator can ignore or accept the decision of the agent.                           implementing the required functionalities. The results
                                                                                         given from the execution of simulation confirm the
The system is not completely independent because there are

                                                                                                               ISSN 1947-5500
                                                         (IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,
                                                         Vol. 9, No. 4, April 2011

       validity of the model use. We show the simulation in                       repository for the standardized, integrated, and
       the figure 5.                                                              validated data.
                                                                         [1]  Wooldridge, and M., Jennings N. R.,”Intelligent Agents:Theory and
                                                                              Practice”, “The Knowledge Engineering Review”,vol. 10, no 12, 1995,
                                                                              pp. 115-152,
                                                                         [2] Weckman, G.R., and Lakshminarayanan, S. “An integrated stock market
                                                                              forecasting model using neural networks”, “Int. J. Business Forecasting
                                                                              and Marketing Intelligence”, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2008, pp.31-50,
                                                                         [3] Aparaschivei, F.,”Considerations on Accounting Intelligent Systems
                                                                              Importance”, “ Informatica Economică”, nr. 2 (42),2007, pp.95-100
                                                                         [4] Boucké, N., and Tom, H., “View composition in multiagent
                Figure 5. The view of simulation                              architectures”, “Int. J. Agent-Oriented Software Engineering”, Vol. 2,
                                                                              No. 1, 2008, pp16.
      This work is important because it shows that intelligent          [5] Weyns, D., Schelfthout, K., Holvoet, T., and Lefever, T., “Decentralized
       agents will be the best technologies which will lead to                control of E’GV transportation systems”’,” ICA A MultiA, Industry
       significant improvements in the quality and                             Track”,July, 2005, pp.25-29.
       sophistication of the software systems. The ability of            [6] Lungu, I., Velicanu, M., and Botha, I., “Database Systems – Present and
                                                                              Future”, “Informatica Economică”, vol. 13, no. 1,2009, pp.84-100,
       agents to autonomously plan and pursue their actions
       and goals, to cooperate, coordinate, and negotiate with           [7] Wang, Y.K., and Lin Y.H., “Location Aware Information Agent over
                                                                              WAP”, “Tamkang Journal of Science and Engineering”, Vol. 3, No. 2,
       others, and to respond flexibly and intelligently to                    2000, pp. 107-115
       dynamic and unpredictable situations will expand their            [8] Bose,. R., and Sugurnaran, V., “Application of Intelligent Agent
       powerful use in many applications.                                     Technology for Managerial Data Analysis and Mining”, “DBAIS”,
                                                                              Vol. 30, No. 1,2003, pp.79-82,
Our architecture associates one data source with each
                                                                         [9] Kalr, G.,and Steiner, D., “Weather Data Warehouse: An Agent-Based
information agent. This can be easily extended by having other                Data Warehousing System”, “Proceedings of the 38th Hawaii
agents increasing the system performance. There are several                   International Conference on System Sciences”, 0-7695-2268-8/05 IEEE,
interesting tracks for future research:                                       2005, pp.12-16,
                                                                         [10] Helmer, G.G., Wong, J.S.V., Honavar, and V., Miller, L., “Intelligent
      We aim to implement a new proof of concept, because                    Agents for Intrusion Detection”, “AMSP of the Ames Laboratory”, U. S.
       tool support is essential for the feasibility of the                   Department of Energy, W-7405, 2000, pp.14
       approach. Another similar direction would be to have              [11] Decker, K.S, and Williamson, M.”Information Agent Design Notes”,
       discovery style retrieval agents. This will also take care             “The Robotic Institute”, January 30, 1996, pp.14,
       of the source failure case, which is not addressed in the         [12] Jennings,N.R.,and Wooldridge, M., “Agent technology: foundations,
       current system.                                                        applications, and markets”, Springer Verlag, 1998, pp.18-35,

      Our future work will try to extend the modularity of
       system introducing intelligent agent to complete the
       goals of the agency, always using one central

                                                                                                         ISSN 1947-5500

To top