NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-F3.07-8060 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 034947)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Spaceport Command, Control and Monitor Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE:Agent Standards

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Intelligent Automation, Inc.
7519 Standish Place Suite 200
Rockville ,MD 20855 - 2785
(301) 294 - 5200

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Leonard   Haynes
7519 Standish Place Suite 200
Rockville ,MD  20855 -2785
(301) 294 - 5250
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

The innovation of the work herein proposed is the development of standards for software autonomous agents. These standards are essential to achieve software agent-based systems whose software is reusable and interoperable. For NASA, many new developments, from scheduling, to planning and resource allocation, to simulation, to transportation logistics, etc are exploiting the emerging technology of software agents. Because software agents do not use any form of calling hierarchy to create a total system they are inherently more easily reused and inherently more interoperable than conventional software. On the other hand, NASA and other users of software agent technology will not fully benefit from this advantage without a better understanding of what is required for software agents to be reusable and interoperable, and without the development of formal specifications and eventually standards that enable diverse developers to build reusable and interoperable software agents. The proposed work will help insure that future software agents developed for KSC are more reusable and more interoperable than what is achieved today. It also offers Intelligent Automation, Incorporated and KSC the opportunity to make an international impact on agent-based software for the next decade and beyond.

The first NASA application will be the work IAI is already doing for NASA in exploiting software agents in several systems. The work we propose will help identify and formalize what is required to insure that this code is optimally reusable and interoperable. Our goal is for NASA to see the overwhelming benefits derivable from this standardization and to then mandate that software agents developed for NASA must conform to the standards. These standards will not restrict the language in which the agents are coded or the hardware on which they execute.

IAI already has two products that are used to develop software agent-based systems. Part of the work detailed in this proposal is to modify our products so that they conform to the developing standards, and to use these tools as examples of compliant products. This approach will insure that IAI is the first company to offer a software agent infrastructure and a CASE tool for developing software agent systems that are compliant with the standard.