Document Type

Conference Paper


This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only


Computer Sciences

Publication Details

Peter HEALTHINF 2008 International Conference on Health informatics, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal, 2008


Agents are self-contained software entities which act faithfully and autonomously on behalf of a body of knowledge. They can operate in a standalone capacity, or as part of a social group collaborating and

coordinating activities with other software agents. To access their knowledge, agents are interfaced with

using message passing communication. The principle behind medical communications is to provide a means

for exchanging information and knowledge from one computerised location to another, whilst preserving its

true meaning and understanding between the listener and sender. Agent communication is similar to medical

communications, but must provide an additional framework element to allow agents to interact at a social

and operational level. Social aspects relate to agents collaborating on shared objectives, and operational

aspects relate to coordination of tasks between the loosely coupled agents working as part of a group.

Medical communications focus on data exchanges specific to the medical domain, while agent

communication was designed for a much broader audience. Therefore, it is essential to verify if agent

communications can support standard medical data exchanges. This paper investigates current forms of

agent based communications and demonstrates they can support medical communication, yet retain their

social and interaction information exchange functionality.