A Multi-Agent System for Building Large-Scale, Distributed, Hierarchical Control Systems
C.Timmer, D.Abbott, E.J.Wolin, E.Jastrzembski, V.H.Gyurjyan*, W. G.Heyes (JLAB)
The future high energy and nuclear physics experiments will require experiment control systems that operate at a higher level of automation, flexibility, and robustness. In this paper a multi-agent system based framework (AFECS) is presented as an alternative methodology to control large-scale experiments. AFECS creates a control system environment as a collection of software agents behaving as finite state machines. These agents can represent real entities, such as hardware devices, software tasks, or control subsystems. AFECS agents can be distributed over a variety of platforms. Agents communicate with their associated physical components using range of communication protocols, including tcl-DP, cMsg (publish-subscribe communication system developed at Jefferson Lab), SNMP (simple network management protocol), EPICS channel access protocol and JMS.
Jefferson Lab, United States Department of Energy, Office of Science of DOE, Jefferson Science Associates LLC