How It Works
Cougaar Software, Inc.’s (CSI’s) ActiveEdge® is an intelligent decision support platform built on the Cognitive Agent Architecture (Cougaar)—an open source, distributed agent architecture. ActiveEdge® provides all the power of Cougaar and includes key extensions to simplify application development, increase agent functionality, and provide enhanced system capabilities. ActiveEdge® is designed to automate the human reasoning processes to provide advanced narrow Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions to some of the worlds most challenging problems – transforming massive amounts of data into usable knowledge and ultimately, timely and effective decisions. In addition, ActiveEdge® provides advanced execution monitoring and collaborative decision support. CSI’s goal is to provide a next-generation cognitive computing platform for building intelligent systems – systems that understand the situation and support users with reasoning and automation.
ActiveEdge® uses a distributed intelligent agent architecture based on the human cognitive model of reasoning and planning. This advanced software model captures the way humans observe, reason, plan, and act. It allows you to automate the complex processes humans do every day more realistically and robustly than other traditional technologies. The real value is that intelligent reasoning occurs at each level of the system to reduce overall complexity and increase quality, control, and responsiveness. The key benefits of agent technology come in these areas:
- Intelligent Automation and Reasoning
- Planning and Dynamic Re-planning
- Collaborative Information Management
- Scalable, Distributed Computing
- Context aware computing
- Resilient, Adaptive Capabilities
Divide and Conquer Computing
One of the key design concepts of distributed agents is ‘divide and conquer’. Each agent has a specific set of skills, behaviors, and capabilities. Together the agents form a network for solving complex problems. The way they do that is to take large problems and break them down into smaller and smaller problem pieces. Agents at each level break the problem apart, solve the pieces they can solve, and direct the other pieces to other agents who have the requisite skills and capabilities. Each piece is matched to a reasoner or set of reasoners which are designed to be the best technique for solving that part of the problem. These reasoners can be anything – heuristics, algorithms, AI techniques, anything. It is not unusual to build a planning system that has Hierarchical Task Network (HTN) planners, Genetic Algorithms (GAs) for resource allocation and scheduling, pattern classifiers, case-based reasoners, A* routing algorithms, and many others all mixed together. The power of the architecture is in breaking the problem apart, solving each piece in the most effective way, and then putting all the pieces together again to form a total solution. Because the parts are not solved in isolation, and there is information sharing, coordination, and collaboration among the agents, the total solution does not suffer from classical local optimization inconsistencies.
Advanced Automated Reasoning
ActiveEdge® is highly scalable, secure platform for capturing and automating complex reasoning processes. This is done through multiple layers of reasoning and the power of both emergent properties at the agent and agent network levels as well as the dynamics of problem decomposition and re-composition. By creating an effective synergy between the user and the system, we can capitalize on the power of narrow AI solutions and hybrid computing architectures while leveraging human guidance and creativity to collaboratively work through problems to find effective solutions. This powerful class of automated reasoning forms a force multiplier of human performance, capability, and effectiveness, thus increasing human understanding of the situation and real-time monitoring of massive amounts of complex but relevant data.
The ActiveEdge® platform supports rapid application development leveraging a suite of core services to perform functional planning, reasoning, display, and analysis for users. Some of the key services include Rules, Policy, Registry, Community, Discovery, Alerts, Data Share, Authentication and Authorization, Knowledge Base management, and a host of others. In addition, the ActiveEdge® platform provides advanced support for desktop and web visualization to support user interface development as well as support for interface standards, such as JMS, RESTful, and SOAP web services, for interfacing with other systems. Our data mediation and knowledge management layers also provide access to persistent data stores and management of distributed knowledge-based persistent data repositories.