A Toolkit for Building Component Based Agents

Nikolaos Skarmeas and Keith Clark

A toolkit for configuring agent based applications is presented. Each agent comprises several components (some generic, some agent specific). All the components run as separate internal processes and communicate via an internal active message board component This indirect method of communication allows us to more easility mix and match components. The code for all the components that can be assembled into an agent are held on a code server. Standard or often used configurations of components can be symbolically described and stored with a suitable name in an agent library. Finally, an agent management platform allows a user to specify that a particular named type of agent should be launched on a particular machine. The platform will pull down the description for the agent library, pull down the code for the components for the code server, and launch the agent as an integrated set of component processes on the machine.

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