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The Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents (FIPA) is trying to establish standards for interagent communication. The FIPA draft standard is open for comments, and may change through the end of this year. For now, KQML (with five or six reference implementations) is still one of the best choices for interagent communications. However, its informal semantics pose difficulties for independently developed agents. FIPA has chosen to start with France Telecom's Artemis/Arcol message language, which has a formally defined semantics. Work on Arcol by David Sadek and others goes back to 1990, but the language has less "momentum" than KQML. [Ian J. Dickinson , DAI-List, 14Feb97.]

Groups working on mobile agent standards include The Object Management Group and The Agent Society . FIPA has so far concentrated on open environments for stationary agents. . [Jaap Mooij , DAI-List, 17Feb97.]

simsoc is a UK list about computer simulation in the social sciences, including micro-simulation and multi-agent modeling. Send a "join simsoc your name" message to . [, new-lists, 04Apr97.]

The 1st Int. Conf. on Autonomous Agents has produced an excellent website about agent technologies, . [WEBster, 04Mar97.]

One of the conference presentations was the ARACHNID infospider project by Filippo Menczer and Rik Belew at UCSD. The name stands for "Adaptive Retrieval Agents Choosing Heuristic Neighborhoods for Information Discovery." Infospiders learn and evolve, retrieving online documents in order to survive. . [Filippo Menczer , GA-List, 18Mar97. Bill Park.]

To track such topics, get on the reminder list for the UMBC AgentNews newsletter, . [Timothy Finin .]