In this paper we introduce and discuss an approach for multiagent-oriented visual programming. This aims at enabling individuals without programming experience but with knowledge in specific target domains to design and (re)configure autonomous software. We argue that, compared to procedural programming, it should be simpler for users to create programs when agent abstractions are employed. The underlying rationale is that these abstractions, and specifically the belief-desire-intention architecture that is aligned with human practical reasoning, match more closely with people’s everyday experience in interacting with other agents and artifacts in the real world. On top of this, we designed and implemented a visual programming system for agents that hides the technicalities of agent-oriented programming using a block-based visual development environment that is built on the JaCaMo platform. To further validate the proposed solution, we integrate the Web of Things (WoT) to let users create autonomous behaviour on top of physical mashups of devices, following the trends in industrial end-user programming. Finally, we report on a pilot user study where we verified that novice users are indeed able to make use of this development environment to create multi-agent systems to solve simple automation tasks.
Samuele Burattini, Alessandro Ricci, Simon Mayer, Danai Vachtsevanou, Jérémy Lemee, Andrei Ciortea, Angelo Croatti
20 Aug 2022