Agent Threading Issues and Strategies in Network based Multi-agent Systems

C. Linn (Australia)

Keywords

Multiagent Networks, Threads, ParallelProcessing, Agent Frameworks.

Abstract

Agents that participate in network based multi-agent systems almost without exception must do more than one task at a time. This need for task concurrency necessitates the creation and control of multiple program threads. While such multi-threaded programming allows the agent to achieve its tasks it is well recognised that many problems can potentially arise in such multi-threaded programs. In this paper we examine the general issues involved, the agent tasks that require threads and how these may be implemented, and what strategies are available to shield the average agent programmer from the considerable complexities that arise. The agent threading framework examined in this paper has been implemented as part of the Simple Agent Shell (SASh) Project undertaken at the Center for Advanced Systems Engineering at UWS.

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