The ACORN Multi-Agent System
ACORN (Agent-based Community Oriented Routing Network) is a distributed multi-agent architecture for the search, distribution and management of information across networks. ACORN utilises the concept of 'information as agent' together with an application of Stanley Milgram's Small World Problem (the idea of Six Degrees of Separation) in order to route individual items of information around a network of people and agents. The ACORN ideal is to achieve a state where a web of users is created such that information distribution, queries and search, and browsing behaviour is encapsulated in a single adaptive architecture which learns community behaviour and knowledge in order to route agents to relevant destinations (users). This paper describes the ACORN architecture and its implementation. We introduce a novel idea of agent meeting places, or Cafes, to carry out community-based information sharing among mobile agents in ACORN. ACORN is compared with similar work, and evaluations of ACORN for information sharing among mobile agents are described. Applications of ACORN include Business to Business and Business to Consumer based e-Commerce solutions, virtual community creation and support systems, peer reviewing systems, and personalized directed information handling. Keywords: Multi-Agent information architectures, autonomous agents, mobile agents, keyphrase matching, multi-agent architecture, community based information handling, e-Commerce.