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Exploiting Simulation for MAS Programming and Engineering - The JaCaMo-sim Platform

Alessandro Ricci, Angelo Croatti, Rafael H. Bordini, Jomi F. Hubner, Olivier Boissier
Simulation can be an important conceptual and practical tool to support the engineering of MAS, in different ways. In this paper we focus on programming, that is on the role that simulation can play for engineering MAS from an agent/multi-agent programming perspective. The new idea introduced in this paper is to devise a tool that makes it possible to simulate the execution of a MAS program - a JaCaMo program in our case - abstracting from the real physical hardware and environment where the MAS is executed, so as to analyse its behaviour in different simulated situations. The tool can be useful for different aspects that concern MAS engineering, from MAS program debugging and testing at development time, to agent decision making support at runtime. In this paper, we describe a first development of this idea, which lead to the development of a tool called JaCaMo-sim to experiment the idea in practice.
Keywords: Agent Programming; AOSE; Simulation; Multi-Agent Programming; JaCaMo; BDI; Testing; Debugging
2020.