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This paper presents a formal approach, OSA, which is based on object semantics, to model agent-based systems. Agent system is modeled as a set of objects, each of which is specified as a hierarchical automaton. These parallel automata run independently and communicate each other through corresponding communication gates. Compared with other modeling method (such as UML, SCR, Statecharts, Petri Net, etc.), OSA is a formal agent modeling approach with the advantage of: object-oriented, easy-to-use and reusable. The formal definition, operational semantics and a case study of OSA are given in the paper.