The MaBE middleware
The research project MaBE aims at the development of agent-based middleware supporting cooperation in open business environments, based on real-world case studies concerning virtual enterprises. These case studies provide us with a library of scenarios of inter- and intra- organisational cooperation, which impose certain requirements to the construction of effective agent-based middleware platforms supporting such cooperation. However, existing FIPA compliant, agent construction frameworks are insufficient to implement such agent-based middleware, as they cannot meet certain requirements imposed by the case studies. For example, the requirements involving dynamic handling of multiple and evolving ontologies, security and trust issues as well coordination in open environments cannot be directly addressed by current agent development tools and further research is required before building the appropriate middleware functionality supporting them. Since these issues are perceived as key enablers for open business collaboration, this paper provides an overview of the research undertaken to address them. © 2005 by International Federation for Information Processing.