sysid blog

Munggoggo: A modern message based async agent framework

November 02, 2019 ☕️ 2 min read

An asyncio based agent platform written in Python and based on RabbitMQ.

Agents are isolated processes which can host multiple parallel running behaviours implementing business logic and can be deployed as independent kubernetes pods. Access to the agent mesh is via REST/HTTP, websocket and jsonrpc.

A few lines of code implement a fully fledged agent with a simple behaviour: sending and receiving ping messages to/from other agents.

from mode import Worker
from behaviour import Behaviour
from core import Core

class Agent(Core):
    class PingBehav(Behaviour):
        async def setup(self):
            self.counter = 0

        async def run(self):
            self.counter += 1
            msg = await self.receive()
            if msg:
                print(f"{}: Message received: {msg.body.decode()}")
            await self.publish(str(self.counter), 'ping')
            await asyncio.sleep(0.9)

    async def setup(self) -> None:
        """ Register behaviour and subscribe to 'ping' topic """
        await self.add_runtime_dependency(self.PingBehav(self, binding_keys=['ping']))

if __name__ == '__main__':
    Worker(Agent(identity='AgentIdentity'), loglevel="info").execute_from_commandline()



The physical world forms a massive parallel system.

The metaphor of software agents communicating via messages helps to model this realty. Devices like cars, buildings, etc. can be interpreted as independently acting agents communicating via message protocols like AMQP.

Today’s software technology has evolved far enough to model this reality without access to supercomputers or highly specialized programming paradigms. Agents running async business logic are a suitable fit and can be implemented with various prevalent technology stacks.

Technology Stack Choice

Requirements for our tech stack, driven by business reality:

  1. very fast turnover and implementation cycles (experiment, learn, extract useful part, repeat…)
  2. focus on data driven models and algorithms, based on IoT data streams (e.g. vehicles)
  3. loose coupling and independent entity modelling
  4. cloud first (of course…)
  5. standards based and seamless systems integration
  6. scalability

For us this translated in:

  1. Python as programming language wich allows quick development cycles and has got a well established footprint in data science and data computing
  2. Messaging backend based on AMQP (RabbitMQ) which supports streaming processing while simultaneously allowing sophisticated routing and communication patterns
  3. Async programming paradigm in order to fully capitalize on stream processing
  4. Agent metaphor for independent computing units exposing one ore more behaviours

Bringing it together

Combining these ideas, reviewing existing solutions and including a few original ideas eventually led to this prototype implementation of a behavioural agent software framework based on async python, RabbitMQ and ASGI as web programming model.

It is a personal PoC rather than production ready software and its potential is to be verified.

In any case it demonstrates some interesting ideas to address the described problem domain and combines some of the latest python programming paradigms.

always be building, by sysid.

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