Corradini, Flavio and Mariani, Leonardo and Merelli, Emanuela
An agent-based layered middleware as tool integration.
Software Tools for Technology Transfer, Springer Journal, 6 (3).
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Tool integration is a very difficult challenge.
Problems may rise at different abstraction levels and
from several sources such as heterogeneity of manipulated
data, incompatible interfaces or uncoordinated services
- just to cite a few examples. On the other hand,
applications based on the coherent composition of activities,
components, services and data from heterogeneous
sources are more and more present in our nowadays life.
Consequently, tool integration becomes more and more
In this paper we analyze the tool integration problem
at different abstraction levels and discuss different
views on a layered software architecture that we have
specifically designed for a middleware that supports the
execution of distributed applications for the orchestration
of human/system activities. We noticed that the
agent paradigm provides a suitable technology for abstraction
in tool integration. Throughout the paper, the
discussion refers to a case study in the bioinformatics
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