Agents in Bioinformatics
July 12th - 14th, 2002

Ex Scuola Ercolani, University of Bologna,
Mura Anteo Zamboni 2b, Bologna, Italy

Telematics Applications in Biotechnology

Biotechnology Department
National Cancer Research Institute - Genova

The problems of integrating biological data resources would deal, in the Semantic Web Generation, with agents and software robots.

Agents and Multi-agent systems are the emerging new way of computing. Multi-agent systems are one of the most exciting research areas in Artificial Intelligence at the moment. Agents are autonomous problem-solving entities that can interact with others and respond to changing circumstances. In the last five years there has been a growing interest in the application of agent-based systems in different fields such as e-commerce, transports and health.

Agent based systems and applications are well suited to support bioscientists during the process of genome analysis and annotation, so as to the problems of effectively managing and improving the processes involved with protein structure prediction.

Even if we agree on the fact that the real problem facing the data integration is not related to the technology rather than in getting everyone to agree on the meaning of the terms they used, so to lead to the definition of common framework languages to describe data resources.

Some specialized projects in this topic are beginning to appear. It may now be a good time to report on the results achieved in this area, to discuss the benefits (and drawbacks) that agent-based systems may bring to bioinformatics domains, and also to provide a list of the research topics that should be tackled in the near future to make the deployment of bioinformatics agent-based systems a reality.

The aims of the conference are:

  • to strengthen the relationships within bioinformatics community,
  • to activate an osmosis cooperation between bioinformatics and computers science communities,
  • to collect the latest ideas, achievements and proposals in the application of agents and multi-agent systems to the bioinformatics area.

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