Free Intelligent Agent Toolset

Aaron Laznovsky <>
22 May 1997 22:05:59 -0400

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Free Intelligent Agent Toolset (Aaron Laznovsky) (1997-05-22)
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From: Aaron Laznovsky <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 22 May 1997 22:05:59 -0400
Organization: Artis Corporation
Keywords: tools, available

To develop an expanded user-base of early adopters, Artis Corporation
is making licenses to Release 5 of its Activation Framework(r)toolset
available at no cost for a limited time. This software is used in
conjunction with Microsoft Visual C++ compiler on Windows and NT
Platforms to develop applications that contain many event-driven
rules. Applications include Internet/Intranet Commerce, Business
Process Automation, Process Monitoring and Control, as well as the
development of multi-player Simulation, Training, and Gaming
Systems. This software and more information can be obtained through
Art Webserver at

The principal feature of Activation Framework is the automated
conversion of business/application rules into operational
software. This is in contrast to the more usual process of having a
programmer hand convert these rules into a procedural language. The
benefits that result from this are:

1. As the rules are in an English-like form, they can be validated by
subject-matter experts before they are automatically converted into
operational code by a proven process.

2. The rules can be made self documenting, ensuring that documentation
is always up to date and eliminating the chore of code documentation.

3. As all the sequencing code for execution of the rules is
automatically generated, many potential operational bugs are

4. Applications can be incrementally developed by adding
rules. Initial operating capability can be quickly achieved with a
limited number of rules and then the application expanded by adding
and modifying rules without the need to rewrite rule sequencing code.

Activation Framework uses an architecture in which an application is
comprised of multiple agent-task-objects written in event-driven
rules. These task objects can be executed concurrently on a single
processor or on multiple processors interconnected over the Internet
and/or multiple Intranets. Task objects, which are written in an
English-like language, cooperate by exchanging messages. The task
objects are compiled into C++ code which is then compiled and linked
with real-time kernel and messaging middle-ware libraries to produce
operational code. The rules in the task objects can perform numeric,
symbolic, and temporal reasoning. They can call any C/C++ subroutines
or libraries to carry out procedural functions. Standard libraries are
provided for accessing relational databases through ODBC calls, for
performing dynamic HTML page generation, and for generating real-time
displays under control of the rules.

The benefits of this architecture are:

1. Because it uses a compiler approach, Activation Framework retains
the speed and open architecture benefits of C/C++. This is in contrast
to the interpretive approach of most "expert systems" which are slower
in execution and do not have the benefit of an open architecture.

2. The resultant application can carry out many cognitive tasks
concurrently. This means it can handle many users as individuals and
concurrently carry out many functions for those users. This makes it
ideal for use in situation where human operators are being replaced by
an automated system.

3. Those parts of the application that are procedural in nature can be
coded in C/C++ and integrated easily with the rules code.

4. Much of the code needed to create rule-based applications is
generated automatically or provided in Activation Framework's
extensive set of support libraries.

Users of Activation Framework have included GTE, TASC, Hughes, Harris,
Texas Instruments, Gillette, Bank of Montreal, Digital Equipment,
SAIC, as well as the US Air Force and Navy.

Activation Framework is available for other platforms, including Unix,
by special order. An Ada version is also available to US Government
agencies and their contractors.

Aaron Laznovsky
Software Director
Artis Corporation

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