AgentLink III (like its successors) is not a reseatch project; rather it is a Coordinated Action that supports Agent-Based research across the European Union. Thus, it does not directly fund research activities, or employ researchers to carry out research. Instead, it carries out activities that will enable and encourage first-rate European agent research. More pecifically, the goals of the research component of AgentLink are:
- encouraging the development of links between research communities in new and promising areas, especially those of cross-disciplinary interest;
providing a high-quality infrastructure for disseminating research results, issues, datasets, and software; and
encouraging cross-fertilisation of research skills across the European region.
In order to realise these aims, the following programme of work will be carried out:
A research database has been established, mapping areas of research within the scope of AgentLink to nodes within AgentLink that have expertise in these areas. The database is available via the AgentLink WWW site, and provides at-a-glance information on the major areas of strength within AgentLink. this activity will be consolidated by ensuring that the
database is kept up-to-date, and by expanding it with new areas of research and development activity as they emerge.
Clearinghouse for agent-related papers, articles, datasets, and software
Currently, there are no central repositories (in the world) where students and researchers can expect to find pre-prints or reprints of agent-related research material, datasets, electronic bibliographies, freely available research software, and so on --- despite the fact that all of these are available in one form or another across the WWW. AgentLink will create an online clearinghouse that allows researchers to keep such materials in a single, central place. Materials will be obtained both by actively searching for it and obtaining the relevant permissions, and by researchers submitting it electronically.
Materials will be indexed wherever possible using the AgentLink research classification, with the goal of allowing users rapid, easy access to relevant materials.
Support for agent workshops and conferences
Financial support will be provided for workshops and conferences that explicitly cover areas of interest to AgentLink. The goal of this support is to pump-prime research in strategically important areas of agent R&D, as indicated in AgentLink's primary objectives. Support will be provided primarily for innovative, novel areas, with clear potential for the development of strong research communities within Europe. Support will not be provided for new workshops or conferences that relate to areas already covered by established events. Requests for support of conferences and workshops will be directed to the workpackage coordinator, who will make recommendations to the management committee. Events supported by AgentLink will be required, as a condition of funding, to write a report on the event for subsequent inclusion in the AgentLink newsletter and the AgentLink WWW site.