Information Systems Architecture
The Making of Information Systems
The Department of Information Science is one of six departments that make up the Division of Commerce at the University of Otago. The department offers courses of study leading to a major in Information Science within the BCom, BA and BSc degrees. In addition to undergraduate teaching, the department is also strongly involved in postgraduate research programmes leading to MCom, MA, MSc and PhD degrees. Research projects in spatial information processing, connectionist-based information systems,
... software engineering and software development, information engineering and database, software metrics, distributed information systems, multimedia information systems and information systems security are particularly well supported. Abstract This paper describes an architecture for building distributed information systems from existing information resources, based on distributed object and software agent technologies. This architecture is being developed as part of the New Zealand Distributed Information Systems (NZDIS) project. An agent-based architecture is used: information sources are encapsulated as information agents that accept messages in an agent communication language (the FIPA ACL). A user agent assists users to browse ontologies appropriate to their domain of interest and to construct queries based on terms from one or more ontologies. One or more query processing agents are then responsible for discovering (from a resource broker agent) which data source agents are relevant to the query, decomposing the query into subqueries suitable for those agents (including the translation of the query into the specific ontologies implemented by those agents), executing the subqueries and translating and combining the subquery results into the desired result set.