Multi-agent Simulation to Implementation: A Practical Engineering Methodology for Designing Space Flight Operations

  • William J. Clancey
  • Maarten Sierhuis
  • Chin Seah
  • Chris Buckley
  • Fisher Reynolds
  • Tim Hall
  • Mike Scott
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4995)


OCAMS is a practical engineering application of multi-agent systems technology, involving redesign of the tools and practices in a complex, distributed system. OCAMS is designed to assist flight controllers in managing interactions with the file system onboard the International Space Station. The “simulation to implementation” development methodology combines ethnography, participatory design, multiagent simulation, and agent-based systems integration. We describe the model of existing operations and how it was converted into a future operations simulation that embeds a multiagent tool that automates part of the work. This hybrid simulation flexibly combines actual and simulated systems (e.g., mail) and objects (e.g., files) with simulated people, and is validated with actual data. A middleware infrastructure for agent societies is thus demonstrated in which agents are used to link arbitrary hardware and software systems to distributed teams of people on earth and in space—the first step in developing an interplanetary multiagent system.


Work Systems Design Work Practice Simulation Decision Support System Multi-Agent System Agent-based Systems Integration Space Flight Operations 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. Clancey
    • 1
  • Maarten Sierhuis
    • 2
  • Chin Seah
    • 3
  • Chris Buckley
    • 4
  • Fisher Reynolds
    • 4
  • Tim Hall
    • 5
  • Mike Scott
    • 3
  1. 1.NASA Ames Research Center, Intelligent Systems Division, Moffett FieldUSA
  2. 2.RIACS, NASA Ames Research Center 
  3. 3.QSS, NASA Ames Research Center 
  4. 4.USA, NASA Johnson Space Center 
  5. 5.NASA Johnson Space Center 

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