Explore JACK Intelligent Agents

The JACK platform was created by researchers for commercial use of the Multi-Agent Paradigm (a COTS product) to solve complex problems. In 1997, former AAII members who had worked on PRS at SRI International and on dMARS at AAII began working on JACK intelligent agents.

Intelligent Agents are used in many distributed applications to model simple and logical behaviors. There are also smart web applications, manufacturing control, call centers and air traffic management. Agent-Oriented Software’s JACK Intelligent Agents framework brings the idea of ​​intelligent agents to the forefront of commercial software engineering and Java. JACK Intelligent Agents is a third-generation agent framework comprising a group of small, fast, and well-typed components.


JACK Intelligent Agents is a commercial multi-agent platform that has been used for over a decade in research, development, and domain-specific applications. Here is a list of the main features.

  • Agent Execution: The heart of the platform is a multi-agent execution environment that can be scaled up or down. Once agents, blueprints, events, abilities, etc. domain-specific are defined, the JACK kernel manages the execution of the system.
  • JACK Plan Language (JPL): JACK gives each agent a unique JACK plan writing language (the discrete reasoning performed by agents). It has commands like @send and @post to send messages between agents and manage actions, subtasks and conditions.
  • Belief-Desire-Intention Model: The platform implements the BDI software model, in which belief sets manage agents’ beliefs, and desires are the goal states an agent wants to achieve.
  • Capabilities: The platform has capabilities, which are abstractions of common behaviors that come in the form of a set of plans and events. Capabilities are a way to group and reuse common actions and behaviors between agents.
  • JACK Development Environment (JDE): It can be written in Java code. However, the platform also has an agent-centric IDE called JACK Development Environment (JDE). The JDE also has graphical tools for debugging and tracking how projects and messages are executed and passed between agents.
  • Graphic plans: Graphic plans are one of the essential parts of the JDE. These are the individual steps of reasoning that an agent takes, presented as a flowchart.
  • JACK Object Modeller (JACOB): It is an object serialization technology used by the JACK runtime to initialize objects and communication between processes. Java objects are transformed into ASCII text that people can read, similar to YAML and XML.
  • Platform independence: The JACK platform is written in Java, so JACK multi-agent systems can run on any platform that supports the Java Virtual Machine. Currently, a 32-bit JVM is the only way to install JACK on a Microsoft Windows system, but it also works on a 64-bit JVM.

James G. Williams