AgentSheets®: an Interactive Simulation Environment with End-User Programmable Agents

Alexander Repenning
AgentSheets Inc., Gunpark Drive 6560, Boulder, Colorado, 80301, email:
Center for LifeLong Learning and Design, Department of Computer Science, University of Colorado at
Boulder, Campus Box 430, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0430, email:


Current Information Technology is mostly focused on accessing information and provides little support for processing information. An exponentially growing amount of information becomes increasingly unmanageable with today’s information technology approaches. Through web portals, emails, chat rooms, and news lists all kinds of information can be accessed everywhere, all the time. Often embedded in rapidly flashing animations the information glut is fighting for our attention and we are fighting to locate relevant information. The ability to access information is a crucial first step but now we need to explore new means of processing information. How can we keep up with frequently updated website content and setup autonomous computation helping us to process that information?

End-user programmable agents are a means to give people autonomous information-processing power. Simulation is a form of information processing. Agents can be used to build interactive simulations. AgentSheets® is an agent-based simulation-authoring tool that allows end-users to build interactive simulations and publish them as Java applets on the web. Interactive simulations can help people to explore complex issues and communicate them to other people effectively. Interactive simulations are more engaging than static text, images and even video. Moreover, people can define the behavior of end-user programmable agents to access existing information such as stock ticker symbols and to process that information by analyzing and synthesizing it.


agents & intelligent systems, end-user programming, interactive simulations, information processing, information spaces