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Roles '07 – Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Roles and Relationships in Object Oriented Programming, Multiagent Systems, and Ontologies

Boella, Guido; Goebel, Steffen; Steimann, Friedrich; Zschaler, Steffen; Cebulla, Michael

Fak. 4 Elektrotechnik und Informatik

Roles are a truly ubiquitous notion: like classes, objects, and relationships, they pervade the vocabulary of all disciplines that deal with the nature of things and how these things relate to each other. In fact, it seems that roles are so fundamental a notion that they must be granted the status of an ontological primitive. The definition of roles depends on the definition of relationships. With the advent of Object Technology, however, relationships have moved out of the focus of attention, giving way to the more restricted concept of attributes or, more technically, references to other ob- jects. A reference is tied to the object holding it and as such is asymmetric – at most the target of the reference can be associated with a role. This is counter to the intuition that every role should have at least one counter-role, namely the one it interacts with. It seems that the natural role of roles in object-oriented designs can only be restored by installing relationships (collaborations, teams, etc.) as first-class programming concepts. By contrast, the relational nature of roles is already acknowl- edged in the area of Multiagent Systems, since roles are related to the interaction among agents and to communication protocols. However, in this area there is no convergence on a single definition of roles yet, and different points of view, such as agent software en- gineering, specification languages, agent communication, or agent programming languages, make different use of roles. Like its pre- decessor “Roles, an interdisciplinary perspective” (Roles’05) held at the AAAI 2005 Fall Symposium (see the website of the Symposium http://www.aaai.org/Press/Reports/Symposia/Fall/fs-05-08.php), this workshop aimed at gathering researchers from different dis- ciplines to foster interchange of knowledge and ideas concerning roles and relationships, and in particular to converge on ontolog- ically founded proposals which can be applied to programming and agent languages.