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A real-time architecture for time-aware agents

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2 Author(s)
Prouskas, K.-V. ; Imperial Coll., London, UK ; Pitt, J.V.

This paper describes the specification and implementation of a new three-layer time-aware agent architecture. This architecture is designed for applications and environments where societies of humans and agents play equally active roles, but interact and operate in completely different time frames. The architecture consists of three layers: the April real-time run-time (ART) layer, the time aware layer (TAL), and the application agents layer (AAL). The ART layer forms the underlying real-time agent platform. An original online, real-time, dynamic priority-based scheduling algorithm is described for scheduling the computation time of agent processes, and it is shown that the algorithm's O(n) complexity and scalable performance are sufficient for application in real-time domains. The TAL layer forms an abstraction layer through which human and agent interactions are temporally unified, that is, handled in a common way irrespective of their temporal representation and scale. A novel O(n2) interaction scheduling algorithm is described for predicting and guaranteeing interactions' initiation and completion times. The time-aware predicting component of a workflow management system is also presented as an instance of the AAL layer. The described time-aware architecture addresses two key challenges in enabling agents to be effectively configured and applied in environments where humans and agents play equally active roles. It provides flexibility and adaptability in its real-time mechanisms while placing them under direct agent control, and it temporally unifies human and agent interactions.

Published in:

Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 3 )