HLA_AGENT: Distributed Simulation of Agent-Based Systems with HLA

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In this paper we describe hla_agent, a tool for the distributed simulation of agent-based systems, which integrates the sim_agent agent toolkit and the High Level Architecture (HLA) simulator interoperability framework. Using a simple Tileworld scenario as an example, we show how the HLA can be used to flexibly distribute a sim_agent simulation with different agents being simulated on different machines. The distribution is transparent in the sense that the existing sim_agent code runs unmodified and the agents are unaware that other parts of the simulation are running remotely. We present some preliminary experimental results which illustrate the performance of hla_agent on a Linux cluster running a distributed version of Tileworld and compare this with the original (non-distributed) sim_agent version.