BDI Agents: From Theory to Practice

Anand S. Rao and Michael P. Georgeff

The study of computational agents capable of rational behaviour has received a great deal of attention in recent years. Theoretical formalizations of such agents and their implementations have proceeded in parallel with little or no connection between them. This paper explores a particular type of rational agent, a Belief-Desire-Intention (BDI) agent. The primary aim of this paper is to integrate (a) the theoretical foundations of BDI agents from both a quantitative decision-theoretic perspective and a symbolic reasoning perspective; (b) the implementations of BDI agents from an ideal theoretical perspective and a more practical perspective; and (c) the building of large-scale applications based on BDI agents. In particular, an air-traffic management application will be described from both a theoretical and an implementation perspective.

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