Dear JADE users,
We are pleased to announce the release of the version 3.5 of JADE that we named “Letâ€™s talk aboutâ€¦”.
The name of this release is related to the new publish subscribe communication mechanism that allows agents to send messages without specifying their receivers, but just their topic. The JADE runtime is responsible for automatically delivering such messages to all agents that previously registered their interest in the indicated topic. This new communication paradigm is fully integrated in the JADE kernel and is implemented by the TopicManagement Service included in the jade.core.messaging package. Also in terms of API, topics are represented by means of special AID objects so that the usual ACLMessage class and the send() and receive() methods of the Agent class are used transparently to both send messages to an agent and send messages about a given topic.
Another major improvement in this release is a completely restructured version of the Web Service Integration Gateway (WSIG) add on. With respect to the previous version the new WSIG includes a number of improvements that make it really useful and usable in real-world applications. First of all it is packaged as a web application that can be deployed on whatever servlet container such as Apache Tomcat. Second the exposed web services are directly derived from the actions specified in the ontology referenced by the service description registered with the DF. Finally a standard WSDL document is produced for each agent service that must be exposed as web service. This makes it possible to build web service clients as usually happens and without any knowledge about which agent is providing the service and how it does that. Detailed documentation about the WSIG add-on is available on line at http://jade.tilab.com/doc/tutorials/WSIG_Guide.pdf.
Other noteworthy improvements are the new main detection mechanism by means of which a peripheral container is able to automatically discover the host and port of the main container by sending UDP multicast packets, the CFReflectiveIntrospector that allows using the classes of the Java Collection Framework (instead of the classes in the jade.util.leap package) when working with ontologies and a new version of the semantics add-on that comes with a complete programmers guide also available on line at http://jade.tilab.com/doc/tutorials/SemanticsProgrammerGuide.pdf.
As usual, a sensible effort was spent in consolidating existing features, fixing bugs, and improving the documentation. Refer to the ChangeLog file on the web site for the full list of changes and improvements in respect to the previous version of JADE.
JADE 3.5 is expected to be fully backward compatible with previous versions.
JADE is distributed OPEN SOURCE by TILAB (formerly CSELT S.p.A.) under the terms of the LGPL Version 2 License and it can be downloaded at http://jade.tilab.com/. JADE (Java Agent Development Framework) is a software framework that simplifies the implementation of multi-agent systems through a middle-ware that complies with the FIPA specifications and through a set of tools that support the debugging and deployment phases. JADE has successfully participated at the FIPA interoperability tests held in Seoul on January 1999 and in London on April 2001, and it has been extensively used within a number of European projects. It is completely implemented in Java language and the minimal software requirement is the version 1.4 of Java.