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Jack the product of close relationship


6 December, 2004

Close collaboration with DSTO has been instrumental in the development of the JACK product and the success of Agent Oriented Software (AOS).

A close relationship with DSTO has been instrumental in the success of Agent Oriented Software Pty Ltd.
A close relationship with DSTO has been instrumental in the success of Agent Oriented Software Pty Ltd.

DSTO is a world leader in the use of artificial intelligence in the form of intelligent agents to represent human decision-making in combat simulation software. This technology enables DSTO to assess the effectiveness of ADF capabilities under simulated combat conditions. These assessments are then used to make informed decisions about current ADF capabilities and priorities for future development.

DSTO recently signed several agreements with Agent Oriented Software Pty. Ltd. (AOS). One of these agreements will see the continued enhancement of graphical tools to make the development of intelligent behaviours in simulation easier. AOS has incorporated the graphical tools into its core product, ‘JACK Intelligent Agents™’, to form an enhanced graphical development environment suitable for military analysts. JACK is an environment for building, running and integrating realistic, multi-agent systems using a component-based approach. JACK provides the ability to model reasoning behaviour according to the well-established Belief Desire Intention (BDI) model of artificial intelligence. AOS has commercialised the capability to model team-based military operations in their ‘JACK Teams’ software. Both the Graphical User Interface and teaming technologies were developed collaboratively with DSTO.

DSTO has utilised and supported BDI intelligent agent technology for more than ten years in the modelling of human behaviour, and its innovative, leading-edge applications have set the pace for research into and use of intelligent agents. Many of the members of the AOS team have been using BDI agents within Defence applications for more than a decade. This work is centred on the representation of human behaviours (tactics) in simulation.

“Commercial simulation systems have focused primarily on impressive graphics and physical models – modelling behaviour has always been the poor cousin,” says DSTO’s Dr Simon Goss. “This agreement with AOS gives DSTO a direct influence in shaping these developments and, as part of the agreement, provides us with access to the tools as commercially supported products.”

Dr Andrew Lucas, Managing Director of AOS, says, “AOS’ close collaboration with DSTO has been instrumental in the development of JACK and in our success as a company. An opinion from DSTO carries a lot of weight, particularly in international defence markets. This is illustrated by the adoption of JACK by QinetiQ Limited in the UK, based on DSTO’s experience with the product. QinetiQ’s application is novel – building a mission management system for the UK Ministry of Defence to explore the use of autonomous teams of Unmanned Air Vehicles, a whole new market for agent-based software.”

Agent Oriented Software Pty Ltd was established in 1997 with the objective of developing and marketing JACK Intelligent Agents™. Now in its fourth version, JACK is a proven, fully supported agent platform that includes JACK Teams – believed to be the only commercial team-modelling framework available in the world. DSTO was one of AOS’ first customers and the strong relationship continues.

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