This chapter discusses how the concept of role can be exploited in engineering large-scale multi-agent systems, in order to support the development of the applications and to simplify the related tasks. A role can be considered as a stereotype of behavior common to different classes of agents. Role-based approaches can give several advantages, the most important of which is the separation of concerns between different issues (for instance, algorithmic ones and interaction-related ones), which is very useful to simplify the development of large-scale agent-based applications. A survey of different approaches shows the advantages and the peculiarities of introducing roles in agent-based application development. Moreover, we present in detail the BRAIN framework, developed at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, which is an approach based on roles to support agent developers during their work.
Role-based approaches for engineering interactions in large-scale multi-agent systems / Cabri, Giacomo; L., Ferrari; Zambonelli, Franco. - STAMPA. - 2940:(2004), pp. 243-263. [10.1007/978-3-540-24625-1_14]