Modelling Software Agents: Web-Based Decision Support System for Malaria Diagnosis and Therapy


  • Eustache Muteba A. Simon Kimbangu University, Correspondent of IMIA in DR Congo



Background and Purpose: The aims of our research as presented in this paper consist of formalizing the design of software agents and demonstrating its practicability in a web-based medical decision support system specifically for malaria diagnosis and therapy to assist healthcare professionals at medical consultation in order to optimize the quality of care of the patients with the malaria disease.

Methods: The Software Agent System proposed is a functional model based on a contractual specification as the awareness of an agent in pursuing its goals and executing tasks. The agents are designed according to the requirement for an effective diagnosis and delivering the therapy strategies for malaria as per the supplied sign-symptoms and laboratory test results.

Results: The contribution of our work is mainly the contractual specification, a λ contract. As we demonstrate in the scenarios presented as results, the contract ensures the behaviour of the agents in achieving their goals and executing tasks.

Conclusions: The Software Agent System is adopted to cope with a complex and dynamic domain such as medicine and specifically the web-based medical decision support system for malaria diagnosis and therapy of the Optimization of Malaria Treatment (OMaT) system. Our proposed functional model facilitated the implementation of the SA. Specifically, we point out the fact that a λ contract can ensure the consistency and the credibility of the reasoning of the software agent.

Keywords: Software Agents, Functional Model, Contractual Specification, Medical Decision Support


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

  • Eustache Muteba A., Simon Kimbangu University, Correspondent of IMIA in DR Congo

    Faculty of Human Medicine

    Simon Kimbangu University

    Kinshasa, DR Congo


Zvarova J, Heroutova H, Grünfeldova H, Zvara H. Empowering clinicians by eHealth technologies in decision-making tasks. In: Adlassnig K-P, editors. Medical Informatics in a United and Health Europe. MIE; 2009 August 30 - September 2; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. IOS Press; 2009. p. 683-687. Available from:

Tribus M. Rational Descriptions: Decisions and Designs. New York: Pergamon Press; 1969.

White DJ. Fundamentals of Decision Theory. New York: North-Holland; 1976.

Karni E. Decision Making under Uncertainty: The Case of State-Dependent Preferences. Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press; 1985.

Akter S., Ray P. mHealth - an Ultimate Platform to Serve the Unserved. Yearb Med Inform. 2010; 94-100.

Guevara-Masis V, Afsarmanesh H, Hertzberger LO. An agent-based federate information system for telecare environments. In: Proceedings of the International Special Topic Conference on Information Technology Applications in Biomedicine (ITAB); 2006 October 26-28; Ioannina, Greece. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society; 2006. Available from:

Imène B, Noria T. A multi-agent framework for a web-based decision support system applied to manufacturing system. In: Amine A, Aït Mohamed O, Elberrichi Z, editors. CIIA'09. Proceedings of the 2nd Conférence Internationale sur l'Informatique et ses Applications; 2009 May 3-4; Saida, Algeria. Available from:

Iantovics B. Intelligent agent-based medical systems. Scientific Studies and Research. Series Mathematics and Informatics. 2009;19(2):289-300. Available from:

Bellifemine F, Poggi A, Rimassa G. JADE – A FIPA-compliant agent framework. In: Proceedings of Practical Applications of Intelligent Agents and Multi-Agents; 1999; London, UK. p. 97-108. Available from:

IEEE Computer Society. IEEE Recommended Practice for Software Requirements Specifications. IEEE Xplore: 830-1998 - 1998;1-40. Available from:

Hall K. Developing medical device software to IEC 62304. European Medical Device Technology. 2010;(1(6). Available from:

Nealon J, Moreno A. Agent-based application in health care. In: Moreno A, Nealon JL, editors. Applications of Software Agent Technology in the Health Care Domain. Basel: Birkhäuser; 2003. p. 3-18.

Fox J, Glasspool D, Modgil S, Tolchinksy P, Black L. Towards a canonical framework for designing agents to support healthcare organizations. In: 4th Workshop on Agents Applied in Health Care in conjunction with the 17th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, ECAI 2006; Riva del Garda, Italy; 2006 August 29 – September 1. Available from:

Chang L, Ding J, He X, Shatz SM. A formal approach for modeling software agents coordination. In: 4th International Workshop on Agent-Oriented Software Development Methodology (AOSDM); 2008 July 22-24; Glasgow, UK. Available from:

Hermans B. Intelligent software agents on the Internet: An inventory of currently offered functionality in the information society & a prediction of (near-) future developments. First Monday 1997;2(3). Available from:

Yu H, Shen Z, Miao C. Intelligent software agent design tool using goal net methodology. In: Lin TY, Bradshaw JM, Klusch M, Zhang C, Broder A, Ho H, editors. Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Intelligent Agent Technology; 2007 Nov 2-5; Fremont, Canada. IEEE; 2007. p. 43-46.

Foster D, McGregor C, El-Masri S. A survey of agent-based intelligent decision support systems to support clinical management and research. In: Proceedings of the Fourth International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems; 2005 July 25-29; Utrecht, Netherlands. New York, NY: ACM; 2005. p. 16-34. Available from:

Muteba Ayumba E. Towards networked eHealth: OMaT project (phase I). J Health Inform Afr. 2014;2(1):18-29. Available from:

World Health Organization. Guidelines for the Treatment of Malaria, Second edition. Available from:

Muteba Ayumba E. Optimization of medical decision: An approach of medical decision analysis. Eur J Biomed Inform. 2014;10(1):2-5. Available from:

Muteba Ayumba E. Contractual specification of component using virtual interface. In: Proceedings of the 1st International Technology, Education and Environment Conference; 2011 September 5-8; Omoku, Nigeria. Bahawalpur, Pakistan: Human Resource Management Academic Research Society (HRMARS) and Accra: Ghana: African Society for Scientific Research (ASSR); 2011. p. 293-300. Available from:

OMAT Project [Internet]. Kinshasa, DR Congo: MAESOFT; [cited October 2015]. Available from:






Research Article

How to Cite

Modelling Software Agents: Web-Based Decision Support System for Malaria Diagnosis and Therapy. (2015). Journal of Health Informatics in Africa, 3(1).