Large, experimental Multi-Agent System (MAS) simulations are highly demanding tasks, both computationally and developmentally. Agent-toolkits provide reliable templates for the design of even the largest MAS simulations, without offering a solution to computational limitations. Conversely, Distributed Simulation architectures offer performance benefits but the introduction of parallel logic can complicate the design process significantly. The motivations of distribution are not limited to this question of processing power. True interoperation of sequential agent-simulation platforms would allow agents designed using different toolkits to transparently interact in common abstract domains.
HLA_RePast is a system capable of harnessing the computational power of a distributed simulation infrastructure with the design efficiency of an agent-toolkit. The system permits integration, through an HLA federation, of multiple instances of the Java-based lightweight-agent simulation toolkit RePast.
As part of another related project, HLA_RePast has been ported on the Grid.
Sources available upon request.
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