Agent Communications Language

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Agent Communication Language (ACL), proposed by the Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents (FIPA), is a proposed standard language for agent communications. Knowledge Query and Manipulation Language (KQML) is another proposed standard.

The most popular ACLs are:

Both rely on speech act theory developed by Searle in the 1960s[3] and enhanced by Winograd and Flores in the 1970s. They define a set of performatives, also called Communicative Acts, and their meaning (e.g. ask-one). The content of the performative is not standardized, but varies from system to system.

To make agents understand each other they have to not only speak the same language, but also have a common ontology. An ontology is a part of the agent's knowledge base that describes what kind of things an agent can deal with and how they are related to each other.

Examples of frameworks that implement a standard agent communication language (FIPA-ACL) include FIPA-OS[4][5] and Jade.[6]


  1. ^ Poslad, Stefan (2007). "Specifying Protocols for Multi-agent System Interaction". ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems. 2 (4): 15–es. doi:10.1145/1293731.1293735. S2CID 9477595.
  2. ^ Finin, Tim; Richard Fritzson, Don McKay and Robin McEntire (1994). KQML as an agent communication language. Proceedings of the third international conference on Information and knowledge management, CIKM '94. pp. 456–463.
  3. ^ Searle, J.R. (1969). Speech Acts. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
  4. ^ Poslad, Stefan; Philip Buckle and Robert Hadingham (2000). The FIPA-OS agent platform: Open Source for Open Standards. Proceedings of 5th International Conference on the Practical Application Of Intelligent Agents And Multi-Agent Technology (PAAM). pp. 355–368.
  5. ^ Poslad, S; Buckle P, Hadingham R.G (2001). Open Source, Standards and Scaleable Agencies. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Vol. 1887. pp. 296–303. doi:10.1007/3-540-47772-1_30. ISBN 978-3-540-42315-7.
  6. ^ Bellifeminee, Fabio; Agostino Poggi and Giovanni Rimassa (2001). JADE: a FIPA2000 compliant agent development environment. Proceedings of the fifth international conference on Autonomous agents. pp. 216–217.