FIPA 96/04/17
Source: L. Chiariglione fipa_scope.htm




Promotion of the development and specification of agent technologies is the task of the Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents (FIPA). FIPA is an international non-profit association of companies and organisations which agree to share efforts to produce in a timely fashion internationally agreed specifications of generic agent technologies that are usable across a large number of applications providing a high level of interoperability across applications. The target of FIPA-specified agent technologies are Intelligent Physical Agents (IPA). IPAs are devices intended for the mass market, capable of executing actions to accomplish goals imparted by or in collaboration with human beings or other IPAs, with a high degree of intelligence.

Many of the features at the basis of the MPEG and DAVIC efforts that are believed to be at the basis of their success are retained in the FIPA way of operation, namely:

  1. The purpose of FIPA shall be pursued by: identifying, selecting, augmenting and developing in a timely fashion specifications of generic agent technologies that are usable across a large number of IPAs and provide a high level of interoperability with other applications. The goals are realised through the open international collaboration of all players in the field.
  2. The following principles are followed in FIPA's specification development
  3. As a rule FIPA selects and adapts existing technologies and only occasionally develops its own technologies. Therefore FIPA must keep close contact with formal standards bodies, industry consortia and government agencies, such as ARPA, CEC, DAVIC, IETF, ITU, MPEG, OMG, TINA, W3C etc.
  4. It is FIPA's intent to specify tools that can then be assembled to provide systems of practical interest. It is the responsibility of the subsystem integrator to ensure that the overall system is fit for purpose and complies with all relevant regulatory requirements.
  5. The FIPA specification development activity is based on a workplan, organised in work items. Each work item identifies a date of completion and a list of subsystems whose specification is believed to feasible by the agreed date and whose enabling technology is believed to become available for use by around the date of work item completion.
  6. As a rule FIPA will issue Calls for Proposals to acquire information on candidate technologies for the subsystems it intends to specify in the context of a work item. Such Calls are public and anybody, member and non-member, may submit his/her technologies for consideration by FIPA.
  7. FIPA specifications are of two kinds: normative and informative. A specification is normative when it mandates the behaviour of a subsystem to ensure interoperability with other FIPA-specified subsystems. A specification is informative when its aim is to provide guidance to industry on some particular aspects of a subsystem.
  8. FIPA Members (companies, organisations, governmental institutions etc.) pay yearly membership fees, have right to vote on matters that require this instrument and are allowed to join the technical committees developing technical specifications.


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