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)
Enterprise Tool Set Page Enterprise Home Page AIAI Home Page