Hi Glen,

Well, what I think is nice about JADE is that they have done a LOT of the inter-agent management for you, and it's actually pretty easy to set up and get going. It's been around now for over 4 years (maybe even longer), it's open source, and the developers have recently come out with a book (http://www.amazon.com/Developing-Multi-Agent-Systems-Wiley-Technology/dp/0470057475/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1197055589&sr=8-1), although I think the documentation is decent enough.

Good luck!

On Dec 7, 2007, at 1:08 PM, Glen E. P. Ropella wrote:

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Stephen Upton on 12/07/2007 08:20 AM:
Another idea is to use JADE, or some other similar MAS (multi-agent
system). There is no simulation infrastructure since it was built as
middleware for constructing MAS's. However, the basics are there for
having agents on different machines, migration of agents, communication
between agents, etc.. It would be interesting if the ABM community got
together with the MAS community to share ideas, if they haven't done so
already. I haven't seen much. These agents are typically more
heavyweight than agents used in ABM/IBM's, e.g., having an expert system
as a decision making component, but if you're headed that route, it
might be an avenue to look into.

I definitely will.  It's an interesting idea.  I tend to slice up my
simulations so that a big agent (composed of smaller agents) manages
it's sub-agents and bottlenecks communication between sibling big
agents.  In the rare situation that a sub-agent needs to talk to another
sub-agent managed by a different big agent, I sometimes violate that and
build special dongles specifically for those sub-agents in interfaces of
the big agent.

So, it would be reasonable to use JADE's distribution for these big
agents and have each of them manage a MASON SimState, which contained
the sub-agents.

My only question now is whether gymnastics like this are more or less
effort (initial, maintenance, and training) than just hand-rolling my
own inter-agent management (e.g. RMI).  My first inclination is to do it
myself, unfortunately.

- --
glen e. p. ropella, 971-219-3846, http://tempusdictum.com
There's no sense in being precise when you don't even know what you're
talking about. -- John Von Neumann

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