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Computational reflection is the activity performed by a computational System when reasoning about (and by that possibly affecting) itself. This paper presents an introduction to computational reflection (thereafter called reflection). A definition of reflection is presented, its utility for knowledge engineering is discussed and architectures of languages that support it are studied. Examples of such procedural, logic-based, rule-based and object-oriented languages are presented. The paper elaborates on the design of these languages and the reflective functionality that results, elucidating concepts such as procedural reflection, declarative reflection, theory relativity of reflection, etc. The paper concludes with an assessment of outstanding problems and future developments in the area.
Distributed Artificial Intelligence has been loosely defined in terms of computation by distributed, intelligent agents. Although a variety of projects employing widely ranging methodologies have been reported, work in the field has matured enough to reveal some consensus about its main characteristics and principles. A number of prominent projects are described in detail, and two general frameworks, the System conceptual model and the agent conceptual model, are used to compare the different approaches. The paper concludes by reviewing approaches to formalizing some of the more critical capabilities required by multi-agent interaction.
The paper I wrote for the Knowledge Engineering Review was intended primarily to give a balanced review of different techniques developed in (or imported into) Artificial Intelligence to deal with uncertain knowledge.