Ming the Mechanic:
Cognitive Agent Architecture

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Cognitive Agent Architecture2003-11-10 17:37
by Flemming Funch

COUGAAR is an "Open Source Cognitive Agent Architecture for Large-Scale Distributed Multi-Agent Systems". Wow, that sounds neat. From that site:
"Cougaar is a Java-based architecture for the construction of large-scale distributed agent-based applications. It is a product of two consecutive, multi-year DARPA research programs into large-scale agent systems spanning eight years of effort. The first program conclusively demonstrated the feasibility of using advanced agent-based technology to conduct rapid, large scale, distributed logistics planning and replanning. The second program is developing information technologies to enhance the survivability of these distributed agent-based systems operating in extremely chaotic environments. The resultant architecture, Cougaar, provides developers with a framework to implement large-scale distributed agent applications with minimal consideration for the underlying architecture and infrastructure. The Cougaar architecture uses the latest in agent-oriented component-based design and has a long list of powerful features."
Sounds good. I'm very interested in self-organizing agents, and this is open source. Can I use it for anything? There are some documents. The architectural overview seems to be in clear enough language. I can't quite grasp if this only makes sense for a large logistical planning operation. Like if I'm going to invade Syria and I want the right number of M1 tanks to show up in the right place at the right time, despite that they, and various other pieces of hardware they depend on, come from a variety of different places, and I suddenly change my mind while the tanks are on their way, and btw some of them got blown up on the way, and so did some of the computers keeping track of this, but I want it all to work anyway. Is a similar framework meaningful for a more peaceful grassroots purpose? Such as the distributed storage of good information. Or collaborative planning of events or projects amongst diverse collections of organizations.

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