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mAgent Event Model

July 23, 2002 (last updated July 1, 2004)
Laurent Weichberger, Principal Innovator

Within the mAgent Framework, everything that ever happens is categorized into three types of events:

PastEvent (finished executing).
CurrentEvent (currently executing).
FutureEvent (to be executed).

Eventually a CurrentEvent becomes a PastEvent (regardless of the outcome), and shows up in the PastEventArchive.

A FutureEvent (scheduled) may never become current (depending on various issues).
A PastEvent is stored for review by the Event Source (unless purged).

An event is an object, so this naturally raises issues. The PastEventArchive deals with event storage for review differently depending on configuration settings (store in memory, to a database, on other media, etc.).

Events are created by mAgent intelligent agents.

Each agent works with zero or more Activants (active participants, or collaborators) and zero or more Passivants (passive participants, or somewhat subjective things, a target, an address, etc.) to accomplish any given task. As the product grows more Activants and Passivants are allowed, but they will always be kept as two separate groups.

Each event has a source, meaning the ONE who spawns the event.

In the case of multiple sources (such as a document that requires multiple signatures to be put into effect) then multiple sources will be allowed. (It is possible to allow weighting of sources, for advanced applications where each source has a weight, and a certain minimum weight must be present for the agent to be authorized).


Sample events: Buy a book, buy a stock, sell a stock, search the net, send an email, etc.

Sample sources: Laurent Weichberger, The Board of Directors of Hewlett-Packard, anonymous (there are special ramifications and parameters for anonymous mAgent sources).

Samples Activants (what we need to get the task accomplished):, MasterCard, HSBC, My Swiss Bank Account, Sears Warehouse, Dell Computer On-line sales, a modem used to call out from the server, etc.

Sample Passivants (what the task wants to achieve): Dell Laptop, any particular book such as Java in A Nutshell, a car, ten thousand shares of ABC company, a fax machine which receives a call and transmittal, an email address which received a message, a cell phone (number) which receives a call, a shipping address which receives the book.


PastEventArchive is temporary. A hard archive is available for those users who require long term search ability.

Each event has a stated goal. Each event ultimately has a result (not to be confused with the goal). The goal may or may not be accomplished, but there is always a result. There will always be an English language version of the goal, and also of the result (for tech support and other reasons). Other languages are available upon request through Java Internationalization (I18N).

An AgentSource (person) creates and programs one or more agents.
Agents communicate with the AgentSource (human), and agents create events.
Agents must be authorized by the Sentinel (security mechanism) before entering the EventScheduler.
Events communicate with agents, and also with the EventScheduler.
Only events in the EventScheduler are allowed to run.

Agents can spawn multiple events. For example: find a used copy of Java in a Nutshell for under $8, buy it, have it shipped to such and such address, notify Source when done. Find is one event, buy is another event, ship may be a third event, and notify a fourth event.

Each event has an allowable duration, meaning how much time it can spend to achieve the stated goal (before checking back with the agent EventSource).
Each event has an actual duration, meaning how much time it actually spent on the stated goal.
Each event has the ability to have the duration modified, if it needs more time, by communicating with the agent (or pre-programmed boundaries).

Each agent may be killed and removed (for various reasons).
Each agent may kill specific events, but only events that it originally scheduled, or their spawn.
Each agent may kill itself (rarely, under certain special circumstances).
The agent (Event Source) may "freeze” all spawned events whereby they must first be “unfrozen" before they are allowed to continue.

An event with no agent is frozen, and the AgentSource is immediately notified of the situation.
An agents with no AgentSource has a unique problem, and it is dealt with accordingly.

Agents are tracked, unless special arrangements are made in advance (those extending the mAgent Framework can override this behavior).

There is a list of all retired, killed and removed agents (those extending the mAgent Framework can override this behavior).

Each agent understands the relative success or failure of the events it has spawned, and keeps track of this for modification of events, and reporting (interim and or final) to the AgentSource.

Each agent has associated objects, including but not limited to:

Events: as described above.

Sentinel: To deal with all related security issues (different types of sentinels, depending on the types of events it is working with). For example, a “find” instruction doesn't need much security, whereas a “buy” does, and so does a “ship to,” since that is private personal data. Notify may need security, depending on the type of notification (maybe it is a cell phone notify and the cell phone number is very private, etc.).

AgentMonitor: A way to look at the agent, and the agent’s spawned events using a GUI interface, so that the details of any and all events can rapidly be displayed for tech support, legal issues, etc.

AgentMaster: This is the component that allows the AgentSource to program an agent to schedule future events, and modify current events.


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