As the boundaries blur between systems and their users, new modelling abstractions and notions are required for modelling and designing socio-technical systems in the distributed world. These are exactly the kinds of abstractions we intend to introduce and analyse in the presentation, the most fundamental ones of them being “agent” and “system”. The presentation will first describe three motivating case studies: intergenerational play between geographically separated grandparents and grandchildren, flirting, and air traffic simulation. After that a conceptual space within which to view systems will be introduced. The conceptual space consists of three layers: a deployment layer, a system design layer, and a motivation layer. Orthogonal to the three horizontal layers are vertical concerns that cross the layers. They are needed for a clear understanding of the issues to be addressed when designing and implementing systems. The vertical concerns proposed by us for systems are information, interaction, and behaviour. The types of models required for domain analysis, design, and implementation lie at the intersections of abstraction layers and cross-cutting concerns. The presentation will describe the models by using the running case study of digital pets – Tamagotchis. The material to be covered in the presentation mostly comes from the recent book by Leon Sterling and the presenter entitled “The Art of Agent-Oriented Modeling” (MIT Press, August 2009).
Jointly with Professor Leon Sterling Kuldar Taveter has developed a new discipline called agent-oriented modelling, which can be used in agent-based simulation and for designing socio-technical distributed systems. He has also done research work on agent-based business process automation and ontological engineering.