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A simulation framework for heterogeneous agents. (English) Zbl 1053.90041
Summary: We introduce a generic simulation framework suitable for agent-based simulations featuring the support of heterogeneous agents, hierarchical scheduling, and flexible specification of design parameters. One key aspect of this framework is the design specification: we use a format based on the Extendible Markup Language (XML) that is simple-structured yet still enables the design of flexible models. Another issue in agent-based simulations, especially when ready-made components are used, is the heterogeneity arising from both the agents’ implementations and the underlying platforms. To tackle such obstacles, we introduce a wrapper technique for mapping the functionality of agents living in an interpreter-based environment to a standardized JAVA interface, thus facilitating the task for any control mechanism (like a simulation manager) because it has to handle only one set of commands for all agents involved. Again, this mapping is made by an XML-based definition format. We demonstrate the technique by applying it to a simple sample simulation of two mass marketing firms operating in an artificial consumer environment.
MSC:
90B35 Deterministic scheduling theory in operations research
Software:
ZEUS
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