Screenshot and Graphic Explanation

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Below is a screenshot of a simple Hive network. The Hive application window has three major components: a list of cells it knows about (left), a text console (bottom), and a graph of all agents in the system (center). The agent graph here shows two Hive cells on two computers, "poison-ivy" and "tarragon". Each agent is represented by an icon with a colored frame indicating which cell the agent belongs to. Arrows are drawn between agents to show communication paths.

hive screenshot

The system depicted here has four groups of agents. The simplest group is the two agents in the middle; a "Stock Grabbing Agent" agent is connected to a Cricket robot agent. The "Stock Grabbing Agent" agent periodically checks on the price of a stock, and sends an event to the Cricket if the stock price has changed. The Cricket could then process the message, and do something with it (ex. do a little dance if your stock went up).

The image manipulation agents on the left are a bit more complicated. The top-most agent in this chain is a "Click Me!" agent, which provides an on-screen button. When the button is clicked, a message is sent to the camera telling it to take a picture. This picture is then sent to an image filter that turns color images to greyscale. Finally, the image is sent to a computer display. Note that the some of the agents are on poison-ivy (blue border) but that others, including the camera, are on tarragon. Hive is being used to coordinate services across multiple machines.

The three agents at the bottom of the screen are two chat agents and a chat group server agent. These agents give Hive a realtime chat system that supports both chat rooms and private messaging. Notice that the agents aren't all on the same computer; Hive's distributed networking system allows agents to seamlessly interact with each other across different computers.

The final collection of agents on the right are the cell management agents. Typically, users do not need to concern themselves with these, but they illustrate that Hive itself is managed with agents. Briefly, there is one user interface agent: this agent creates the display that this is a screenshot of. The user interface agent talks to two agents on each cell, a control agent and an information agent. There are also two agents maintaining lists of cells; they are currently connected, showing that they are managing a federation of Hive cells.

Last Modified: May 20, 2000
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