Enterprise Project: Task Manager
The Task Manager is the interface between the user and the Enterprise Tool
Set. It directly supports the user in performing their current tasks by
helping them to follow the tasks' corresponding "task models" (activity
specifications or procedures which should be followed to carry out a task)
captured with the help of the Procedure Builder.
The Task Manager plans user tasks and the use of agents. Appropriate agents
are identified by matching the task's required capabilities (from the
process models) against the agents' registered capabilities. This is done
at run-time, so that the most suitable agent can be identified, taking into
account which agents are available at that time. Thus the use of agents is
coordinated at the level of the user's tasks.
The Task Manager keeps track of the progress that has been made during the
enactment of a task: it keeps track of which tasks are currently active,
which have been done, etc. This progress can be visualised in different
ways, the visualisation being supported by the process diagrams captured
with the help of the Procedure Builder.
The Task Manager also handles outputs generated by tasks. It stores that
information and it can pass it on as input to other tasks. The amount of
support that the Task Manager gives to the user is flexible, depending on
what the user wants. Advice can be given on what to do next, determining
which tasks are ready to be executed and taking into account what has
recently been completed. The Task Manager can also help the user to recover
from failures, determining alternative routes of action with the help of
the process models.
The Task Manager effectively puts an extra layer of control on top of the agent
services. This lets the user participate in the coordination of agents,
according to the tasks in which the user is engaged.
(Last updated: 13th February 1997)
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