Run-Time Environment

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Editorial History

24/12/08 (Version 1): Initial Version of Page

13/01/09 (Version 2): Added Diagram & explanation

21/05/09 (Version 3): Updated to include information of AF2.0


The Run-Time Environment is the heart of the Agent Factory framework. It provides the core software necessary to support the deployment of agent-based applications. Specifically, this infrastructure consists of one or more Agent Platforms, each of which plays host to a set of agents that together make up the application.

These agents are themselves be sub-divided into two groups of agents:

  • the Application Agents implement the application logic; and
  • the System Agents provide any core infrastructure services that are needed to support the deployment of the Application Agents.

The diagram on the right hand side of this page illustrates the structure of the Run-Time Environment. As can be seen, this example environment consists of two agent platforms that each contain a different number of deployed platform services (which themselves may be different). As can be seen, both agent platforms share a common Message Transport Service that implements an Agent Communication Channel between them. The orange circles on each platform represent System Agents, and the red circles represent Application Agents. Finally, the dotted lines represent the principle lines of interaction between these different agents (both within and across agent platforms).

Default Platform Services

The Run-Time Environment comes pre-configured with a number of basic Platform Services. These include:

Starting an Agent Platform

As of version 2.0 of Agent Factory, applications are deployed via the creation and execution of a Java main() method that specifies the configuration of the Agent Platform and the initial community of agents that are to be deployed on that platform. Details of how to do this can be found in the Application Deployment Guide.