An agent-based framework for distributed collaborative model evolution
In recent years, an increasingly large number of software systems have been developed at different geographical regions. As a result, the maintenance and evolution of those systems have shifted from being conducted at a single site to being geographically distributed at multiple locations around the world. In these collaborative development environments, it is a critical challenge to maintain consistency within a software model during its evolution since changes are rapidly and concurrently made to the model without the awareness of team members at various locations. Most of existing software modelling applications however primarily support single-user settings whereas some other recent approaches which rely on version control tools fail to provide effective, real-time support in a collaborative modelling setting requiring frequent interactions and short feedback cycles. In this paper, we present a framework that supports designers in evolving software models in a collaborative modelling setting. This framework is built upon the well-known Belief Desire Intention agent architecture to exploit its robustness and flexibility in maintaining consistency within a design model and resolving conflicts in real time when changes are concurrently made to it by different designers.