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Re: Agent Sub-Types

From: Reza B'Far <reza.bfar@oracle.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2011 11:00:41 -0700
Message-ID: <4E1F2EC9.5030305@oracle.com>
CC: public-prov-wg@w3.org
Yolanda -

Thank you for the response.  Please see responses below -

 1. You're completely correct that trust has shades of gray (accuracy,
    preciseness, etc.).  This is partly why I also included the PACE reference. 
    However, it should be up to the implementer to determine trust.  All we're
    doing is providing some very coarse grain way to even express existence or
    lack of trust.  Perhaps we should add to the two that I put in an
    "Unknown".  At this point, IMO, for the first version, we need something
    that the implementers can provide that says "the person creating this mod is
    not trusted" or "the person creating this mod is trusted" at that binary
    simplicity level.  Later on, during future versions of the draft, additional
    attributes can always be added.  I'm even find with doing that now... or
    creating a pointer to other standards that deal with trust.  But, not
    dealing with it makes it so that the fact that an agent is mentioned is not
    all that useful if I have to have trust.  And most, if not all, commercial
    applications have to have trust.  It's not an option.  I can't go republish
    some news from some random source that I don't have any trust for or no one
    vouches for as a reputable org (journalism use-case).  Nor can I provide
    records management lineage in time for some legal evidence piece.
 2. I am fine with the proposal of completely removing agent.  I guess it's
    better than ONLY having a "generic" agent.  But I prefer specific agent(s)
 3. References from Fugetta, et. al, as well as Russell\Norvig, Taylor/Dashofy,
    Medvidovich etc. where Software Agents are definitively defined look at the
    following categories -
      * Mobile Agents - mobility context
      * Intelligent Agents - automated processes that make their own decisions
        without direct human interaction
      * User-Agent as defined in Http/HTML/etc. within the context of
        client-server computing
 4. On (3) above, my "beef" here is that we need to use words that have
    definitive meaning in software engineering within their own context.  System
    Agent is typically used (and I previously sent a reference on this) to refer
    to automated intelligent agent... some cron job that's running in the
    background doing automated stuff.  User-Agent is defined by Fielding in REST.
 5. Orthogonal to discussion - I generally don't like something called "recipe"
    for example.  I mean what is a recipe?  It's in my kitchen, but I don't find
    it in a gang-of-four software engineering book or in anything that I've seen
    in a graduate or undergraduate software engineering book.  Getting creative
    with words is dangerous.  And I don't think we're inventing anything here in
    this (or any other) working group in the way of a new theory, principle,
    etc. so I strongly recommend we use exact words that are in either accepted
    and semi-mature (few publications, not just 1 paper) or fully mature
    computer science and/or software engineering disciplines.


On 7/14/11 10:40 AM, Yolanda Gil wrote:
> Hi Reza:
> You raise an interesting topic, albeit a tough one.
> Trust tends not to be binary, it comes in all shades of grey (e.g., a degree 
> of confidence).
> It is also subjective, the level of trust may depend on the application, the 
> domain, or the use of the provenance.
> So in my opinion, the core of a provenance representation should not include a 
> representation of trust.  Maybe later we include an extension to represent 
> trust, but note that many trust metrics can be derived from a given provenance 
> record.
> I am also not sure about your second category.  I am not sure if the NYT as 
> publisher of an article would be considered "user-agent" or "system".  I am 
> not sure if my personal email agent should be considered "system" or "user-agent".
> In general, I think ontologizing agency is tricky.
> In my opinion, the notion of agent should be eliminated from the model unless 
> we want to attach a special meaning to a participant which is a meaning of 
> responsibility for a step/process.
> Yolanda
> On Jul 14, 2011, at 10:18 AM, Reza B'Far wrote:
>> Creating new thread to put agent sub-typing up for discussion.
>> Proposal is to have the following sub-types of agent
>>  1. Trust-based sub-types
>>       * Trusted Agent
>>       * Untrusted Agent
>>  2. Limiting the scope of System vs. Human interaction
>>       * User-Agent
>> Alternative to 2, we could also do Automated System Agent and Human Agent.
>> Reza
Received on Thursday, 14 July 2011 18:01:20 UTC

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