Unifying Agent and Component Concepts

Jadex Active Components
  • Alexander Pokahr
  • Lars Braubach
  • Kai Jander
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6251)


The construction of distributed applications is a challenging task due to inherent system properties like message passing and concurrency. Current technology trends further increase the necessity for novel software concepts that help dealing with these issues. An analysis of existing software paradigms has revealed that each of them has its specific strengths and weaknesses but none fits all the needs. On basis of this evaluation in this paper a new approach called active components is proposed. Active components are a consolidation of the agent paradigm, combining it with advantageous concepts of other types of software components. Active components, like agents, are autonomous with respect to their execution. Like software components, they are managed entities, which exhibit clear interfaces making their functionality explicit. The approach considerably broadens the scope of applications that can be built as heterogeneous component types, e.g. agents and workflows, can be used in the same application without interoperability problems and with a shared toolset at hand for development, runtime monitoring and debugging. The paper devises main characteristics of active components and highlights a system architecture and its implementation in the Jadex Active Component infrastructure. The usefulness of the approach is further explained with an example use case, which shows how a workflow management system can be built on top of the existing infrastructure.


Active Component MultiAgent System Active Object Internal Architecture Hierarchical Decomposition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Pokahr
    • 1
  • Lars Braubach
    • 1
  • Kai Jander
    • 1
  1. 1.Distributed Systems and Information Systems, Computer Science DepartmentUniversity of HamburgGermany

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