agentTool III

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agentTool 1.8.1

Note: This page is maintained for historical purposes only. The original version of agentTool (circa 2001), which was designed to support the orignal MaSE methodology is no longer actively used or supported. Although written in Java, the directions for installation assume you are running on a Windows platform. It has been tested and seems to run correctly on Windows 7 and Java 1.6.

The agentTool system is our attempt to implement a tool to support and enforce the Multiagent Systems Engineering Methodology (MaSE).  agentTool version 1.8 implements all seven steps of MaSE as well as automated support for transforming analysis models into design models.  The agentTool user interface is shown below.

The menus across the top allow access to several system functions, including a persistent knowledge base, conversation verification and code generation.  The buttons on the left add specific items to the diagrams while the text window below them displays system messages.  The different MaSE diagrams are accessed via the tabbed panels across the top of the main window.  When a MaSE diagram is selected, the designer can manipulate it graphically in the window.  Each panel has different types of objects and text that can be placed on them.  Selecting an object in the window enables other related diagrams to become accessible.

The part of agentTool that is perhaps the most appealing is the ability to work on different pieces of the system and at various levels of abstraction interchangeably, which mirrors the ability of MaSE to incrementally add detail.  The “tabbed pane” operation of agentTool implements this capability of MaSE since the step you are working on is always represented by the current diagram and the available tabs show how you might move up and down through the methodology.

During each step of system development, the various analysis and design diagrams are available through tabs on the main window.  The ordering of the tabs follows the MaSE steps, so selecting a tab to the left of the current pane would move “back” in the methodology while selecting a tab to the right would move “forward.”  The currently selected object controls the available diagrams (via tabs), which include those that can be reached following valid MaSE steps.  For instance, selecting a task causes a tab for the associated Concurrent Task Diagram to become visible.  Selecting that tab would cause the Concurrent Task Diagram to appear.


agentTool 1.8 User Manual


The last version of agentTool is available as a zip file: agentTool(1.8).zip. The zip file contains the "full" agentTool suite with the exception of the "SPIN" software used for automatic conversation verification.

If you unzip the file in the C:\ directory, it will create a C:\AgentTool_1.8 directory which will contain all the source code, executable code, and various MAML example files. agentTool was written for Java 1.3, but will run with current version, at least up to 1.6. If you do not have JDK 1.3 or don't load agentTool into the C:\AgentTool_1.8 directory, you will have to modify the agentTool.bat file. You will have to make the appropriate changes to point to the correct agentTool directory or the correct JDK directory.

set AT=c:\AgentTool_1.8
set path=c:\jdk1.3\bin;%AT%\spin\bin
set djgpp=%AT%\spin\djgpp.env
cd %AT%
java Editor.ATeditor

The command "set AT=c:\AgentTool_1.8" will create a new environment variable "AT" set to the path of the Agent Tool environment. You will need to set this to whatever your installation directory is. If you installed straight to c: then you won't need to change this. If you have the JDK installed in a different directory, you will need to make the appropriate changes to the path variable.

The line "set path= ... %AT%\spin\bin" and "set djgpp=%AT%\spin\djgpp.env" are used with SPIN verification tool. You need to download SPIN, compile it, and install it in the c:\agTool\spin directory. To install the file, move it to your AgentTool directory and unzip the file. It will create the appropriate spin subdirectory (\spin) and will be ready to run with agentTool. (Given that agentTool 1.8 was written in 2001, we do not expect that it will run with the current version of SPIN.)

The last three lines of this batch file are used to load AgentTool and should not need to be changed. The memory consumption issue for prior versions has been eliminated in version 1.8. There should be no need to extend the memory, but if this does become an issue this can be fixed by using the "-Xmx200000000" initialization. To do this simply switch which command is ignored by "rem". If this is insufficient, you can increase the amount of memory requested. If agentTool is acting "flakey", check the agentTool DOS window (which is minimized when agentTool runs) to see if you are getting "out of memory errors". If this happens, increase the memory allocated to agentTool via the -Xmx flag.

Papers Related to MaSE and agentTool I


You can send questions/report problems about agentTool to Dr. DeLoach, but please make sure you state that this is version 1.8 and realize that the software has not been actively used for 10 years.

Last Updated on Monday, 28 November 2011 21:22