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The ATLAS high-level trigger (HLT) system provides software-based event selection after the initial LVL1 hardware trigger. It is composed of two stages, the LVL2 trigger and the event filter (EF). The LVL2 trigger performs event selection with optimized algorithms using selected data guided by Region of Interest pointers provided by the LVL1 trigger. Those events selected by LVL2 are built into complete events, which are passed to the EF for a further stage of event selection and classification using off-line algorithms. Events surviving the EF selection are passed for off-line storage. The two stages of HLT are implemented on processor farms. The concept of distributing the selection process between LVL2 and EF is a key element in the architecture, which allows it to be flexible to changes (luminosity, detector knowledge, background conditions, etc.) Although there are some differences in the requirements between these subsystems there are many commonalities. An overview of the dataflow (event selection) and supervision (control, configuration, monitoring) activities in the HLT is given, highlighting where commonalities between the two subsystems can be exploited and indicating where requirements dictate that implementations differ. An HLT prototype system has been built at CERN. Functional testing is being carried out in order to validate the HLT architecture.