A multi-agent system provides a distributed collaborative platform and as such determines the system dynamics. Ontologies represent the domain knowledge and can be used to support some important processes within a multi-agent system such as: problem decomposition and task sharing among different agents, result sharing and analysis, information retrieval, selection and integration etc.
There is not a single and consensual multi-agent system design methodology. We discussed some of these methodologies in Chapters 4. We introduce an Onto-Agent Methodology as the first methodology that unifies the different approaches of the existing ontology and multi-agent systems design methodologies. This methodology is composed of two interconnected processes. The five steps of the first part of the Onto-Agent Methodology (Onto Methodology) were presented in the previous chapter where we described how to design an ontology on which the multi-agent system will be based. The second part of the Onto-Agent Methodology (Agent Methodology) also consists of five steps and will be presented in this chapter. Using the Agent Methodology, we will define the multi-agent system which functions and operates using the ontology designed with the Onto Methodology as described in the previous chapter.