David Lillis: Protocol Manager
The Protocol Manager (PM) is a platform-independent component that is tasked with making protocols available to agents. When an agent identifies the URL of an ACRE protocol definition it will send this to the PM, which will load the protocol, verify it against the appropriate schema and make it available for interested agents to use. It is also capable of accessing online ACRE repositories that may contain multiple protocol definitions in a centralised location. A repository definition file lists the protocols that it has available. Typically, one PM will exist on an agent platform, so any protocol located by any agent will be shared amongst all agents on the platform (within Agent Factory, the PM is a shared Platform Service). However, there is no technical barrier to individual agents having their own PMs if desired. Previously loaded protocols are also stored locally so that they can be recovered in the event of a platform failure or restart.