I'm working to real world examples of agent based models of actual
enterprises using a generalized framework built using Swarm.
You can find a presentation of wy work at
and the code at
The jveframe-0.9.7.21.tar.gz file contains also a very prelinary
"How to use jVE", as a draft and uncompleted.
All the best, Pietro
At 16.42 02/10/2002 +0100, you wrote:
>I would like to discuss a general question about the philosophy of Multi
>Agent System models.
>First a short introduction to my research (a working paper with more
>details can be found at http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/~ws056755/research/).
>The ones who know me already can skip the next two paragraphs.
>I am working on a group project looking at "Human Performance Modelling as
>an Aid in the Process of Manufacturing System Design" at Cranfield
>University (UK). My PhD research contribution to the project is to look at
>ways to model interdependencies between workers and their environment
>(which includes other workers, cultural- and physical environment).
>Discrete Event Simulation models allow engineers to understand and predict
>the behaviour of manufacturing systems. A standard way of taking workers
>into account is to model them as resources not considering any person-,
>organisational- or environmental influences. But worker behaviour differs
>notably between people, tasks and systems. There is a need to model the
>behaviour of individual workers and workgroups during the manufacturing
>system design process, especially in labour intensive systems like assembly
>lines. This would lead to more realistic line performance predictions and
>could also be used as an aid to design better working environments that
>will improve worker performance. As a technique Multi Agent Systems (MAS)
>as used in Computational Organisation Theory seem to be just perfect. The
>output of such a simulation tool, which can be described as a kind of
>artificial white-room, will support the development of functions and
>distributions that describe variations in state and performance of a
>workforce at individual and group level. It can be used inside new or
>existing manufacturing simulation models.
>There are lots of frameworks out there. The big problem is to find some
>source code of real world examples (something less abstract and more
>related to human performance than heat bugs that live in a 10x10 maze).
>Another point that worries me a bit is that I haven't heard of any real
>success stories about using MAS to model human behaviour within complex
>systems (except from the MOD in the area of decision making). It seems like
>research in this area never gets to a stage of maturity. After developing a
>framework, building some very basic example models, and running a few
>tests, which show that theoretically the framework could work, everybody
>seems to be happy. In the concluding remarks of research papers about these
>frameworks it is very often stated that it is just a matter of getting
>empirical data and the framework would be perfectly suited to model human
>But no one is actually doing this final step. Or is my impression wrong?
>Are there any applications (that use MAS and empirical data) that are
>actually capable of predicting human behaviour?
>Research projects in the department that are related to my project are
>expected to produce a wealth of empirical data that link environment and
>people characteristics with performance. To start the practical part of my
>research my plan is to build a basic MAS model using Java (which I am
>currently teaching myself) and the JAFMAS libraries (Java-Based Framework
>for Multi-Agent Systems: http://www.ececs.uc.edu/~abaker/JAFMAS/) with some
>basic social intelligent adaptive agents. When I have designed the system I
>would like to run some tests to get a better understanding about the
>technique itself and a feeling for the data requirements (so I get the
>right data in the right form from my colleagues) and the results I can
>expect from such a system (so I can define the user group and tell the
>users what they can expect from the tool). As a next step I would like to
>extend the agent structure to fit the requirements of a worker
>To be honest it is quite hard to get started - maybe I am doing something
>wrong. Can you think of an easier way to undertake this first step. Is
>there anything existing that I could play with in order to gain this
>understanding or do you know of some detailed descriptions on how to build
>such a system?
>Thanks for your advice,