8 Conclusion

The SHELLEY Integrated Environment (SIE) is designed primarily with the goal of easing implementation of future projects by providing an easy means for accessing the devices which allow SHELLEY to interact with her surroundings. The design emphasizes flexibility and expandability, as well as simple code reuse in the form of separate modules. The agent/administrator/device model upon which SIE is built allows the implementors of agents to not be concerned with the inner workings of accessing specialized hardware - this is localized to specific device modules. Inter-module communication is accomplished using the sockets API, which offers the future opportunity to distribute SIE over a network of computers. Multiple agents can be run in conjunction, building an integrated system of behaviors. It is the administrator's responsibility to regulate and manage agent access to devices, much like in the modern operating system, it is the kernel's responsibility to regulate and manage processes and their access to system resources. Finally, the specifics of how SHELLEY maps sensory input to behavioral output is encapsulated in the agents, thus SIE serves only to facilitate and does not confine how future researchers approach the problem of building an artificially intelligent entity.



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