Monitoring the runtime behaviour of a distributed agent system for debugging or demonstration purposes provides a challenge to agent system developers. As a lot of the components in such a system are possibly executed on several different physical systems, maintaining an overview over the complete environment is extremely difficult. Methods taken from the development of monolithic software projects such as log files, debug outputs or step-by-step execution of a program do not easily translate to these scenarios due to the distributed nature of the system. “ASGARD” (Advanced Structured Graphical Agent Realm Display) provides an easy-to-use and intuitively understandable method for monitoring and demonstrating Multi-Agent System Infrastructures. ASGARD provides a graphical representation of the connected systems using a 3D visualization. The very promising results from empirical evaluation show that an administrator’s overview over such MAS at runtime is vastly improved.
- 3D visualization of the agent infrastructure
- Live view of the agents and agent nodes on the distributed platform
- Visualization of communications and migrations in the system
- Plug-in interface for specialized functionalities, e.g. system load
- Manipulation of agent states
- Drag & drop migration of agents
A short overview of various visualizations and their meanings in ASGARD.
Agent Node Visualizations
The color shade of Agent Nodes and Agents indicates if the owner name of an Agent Node / Agent is equal to the current user name on the system running ASGARD.
|Own Agent Node|
|Agent Node owned by somebody else|
Agent State Visualizations
The lifecycle state of JIAC agents is indicated by the color of the agent’s head. Furthermore, a written representation of the current state is shown in the object property table on the right.
|Agent in “Initialized” State.|
|Agent in “Starting” State. This is a transitional state between “Initialized” and “Started”.|
|Agent in “Started State”. This is the default state for JIAC agents at runtime.|
|Agent in “Stopped” State.|
|Agent in “Cleaned Up” State.|
|Agent in “Undefined” State. This probably indicates a problem.|
Communication between Agents is shown by a channel (line) connecting the communicating agents in an ark shape. Each message exchanged is visualized by a letter envelope icon flying along the channel. The color of the message symbol and the channel provides some information about the type of communication used.
|Simple message exchange between two agents. This type of communication corresponds to the FIPA Inform speech act.|
|Action Invoke Request. The sending agent requests the receiver to perform a provided service.|
|Action Invoke Response. The sender informs the receiver that the requested action was performed successfully and sends a result.|
|Action Invoke Failure. The sender informs the receiver that the requested action failed to execute successfully.|
J. Tonn and S. Kaiser. ASGARD – A Graphical Monitoring Tool for Distributed Agent Infrastructures. In Advances in Practical Applications of Agents and Multiagent Systems: 8th International Conference on Practical Applications of Agents and Multiagent Systems (AISC Vol. 70, Springer 2010), April 2010.
S. Kaiser, M. Burkhardt and J. Tonn. Drag-and-Drop Migration: An Example of Mapping User Actions to Agent Infrastructures. ITMAS 2010, May 2010.
ASGARD downloads are multi-platform releases for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
- Release 2.5
for JIAC 5.1.5
ASGARD Plugin Downloads
- Directory Plugin 2.1
for ASGARD 2.1, Directory plugin is included in newer versions
ASGARD Screensaver Download
- ASGARD Screensaver 2.0
for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8