, Volume 2, Issue 1-2, pp 81-97

Addressing real-time constraints in the design of autonomous agents

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Abstract

The Phoenix project is an experiment in the design of autonomous agents for a complex environment. The project consists of a simulator of the environment, a basic agent architecture, and specific implementation of agents based on real-time techniques; the first two parts have been constructed, the third is on-going. The facets of Phoenix that facilitate real-time research are: a simulator parameterized for varying environmental conditions and instrumented to record behaviors, an agent architecture designed to support adaptable planning and scheduling, and methods for reasoning about real-time constraints.

This research has been supported by DARPA, # F30602-85-C-0014; the Office of Naval Research, under a University Research Initiative grant, N00014-86-K-0764; the Office of Naval Research, # N00014-88-K0009, and a grant from the Digital Equipment Corporation. We wish to thank Mike Greenberg for his keen understanding of design issues and mastery of programming that made Phoenix what it is today. We also wish to thank Paul Silvey and David Westbrook for their help.