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Brief Bioinform. 2007 Jan;8(1):45-59. Epub 2006 May 26.

Agents in bioinformatics, computational and systems biology.

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Dipartimento di Matematica e Informatica Via Madonna delle Carceri 9 62032 Camerino, Italy.


The adoption of agent technologies and multi-agent systems constitutes an emerging area in bioinformatics. In this article, we report on the activity of the Working Group on Agents in Bioinformatics (BIOAGENTS) founded during the first AgentLink III Technical Forum meeting on the 2nd of July, 2004, in Rome. The meeting provided an opportunity for seeding collaborations between the agent and bioinformatics communities to develop a different (agent-based) approach of computational frameworks both for data analysis and management in bioinformatics and for systems modelling and simulation in computational and systems biology. The collaborations gave rise to applications and integrated tools that we summarize and discuss in context of the state of the art in this area. We investigate on future challenges and argue that the field should still be explored from many perspectives ranging from bio-conceptual languages for agent-based simulation, to the definition of bio-ontology-based declarative languages to be used by information agents, and to the adoption of agents for computational grids.

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