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FAQ

Downloading Problems

I registered to download the AgentSheets software, but I did not receive my 10-day trial registration key. What do I do?

If your registration number did not reach you, chances are you did not give us a valid email address. It is imperative that you provide a valid email address to which the registration information can be sent. If you have given us a valid address and you have not received your key, please contact us.

I cannot get to the registration page. What can I do?

If you cannot get to the page with the registration form for downloading the trial version of AgentSheets, it probably means that the server is down. We regularly check our server, but if you cannot get a connection to the server where the downloadable installers reside, please notify us.

I’ve downloaded the new version of AgentSheets multiple times, and each time, I've gotten a damaged or corrupt file. Any suggestions?

This may happen when there is a high traffic on the web site. Try downloading AgentSheets at a later time.

I am trying to download the trial version but I am not getting anything of known format. Can you guide me on this?

Mac version: The downloadable file for the trial version of AgentSheets is a disk image for the OS X version. Depending on which browser you are using to download, the disk may or may not mount automatically and copy the application folder onto your hard disk. In case it doesn't, you can mount it manually and copy out the application folder to the location of your preference.

Windows version: double click the .exe file, a walk-through for installation is provided

Running AgentSheets on Unix or Linux

Does the AgentSheets application work on Unix or Linux operating systems?

The windows version of AgentSheets is written in Java, so theoretically it should run on any Java virtual machine.

Issues with Ristretto-generated applets

When I open the index.html file of my Ristretto-generated applet, I can see the text, but I do not see an applet. What is the problem?

If the applet placeholder appears at the size that the resulting applet should have been (see figure 1), but you don’t see the applet yet, it may be that the applet is still loading. Unfortunately, there’s no good feedback for the loading applet. Some browsers may even claim (in their status bar) that the applet has loaded, when in fact it is still loading. Please be patient for the loading applet to appear.


Figure 1: Index.html file with applet place holder.

If you are not getting the applet placeholder, but a completely empty space where the applet should have been (see figure 2 below), it may be because Java is not enabled in your browser. Please enable Java in your browser’s preferences and try loading the file again.

Can the end-user alter the behavior of an agent in a Ristretto-generated applet?

When an AgentSheets simulation is turned into an applet, the user can interact with the agents, add and delete them, but cannot change their behaviors. However, you can have agents change parameters of a simulation as a result of user actions. For example, if you run the Avalanche applet (found in the AgentSheets click & play), you will see that there are Plus (+) and Minus (-) agents in the simulation. When the Hand tool is applied to those agents, they change the Friction parameter of the simulation. The mud particle agent responds differently to different friction values. In the same way, one could imagine adding + and - agents to a simulation to increase or decrease the infection percentage in the Virus Attack simulation or to control any parameters of your own simulation.

Therefore, the user of the applet cannot change behavior in the general sense (that is, change the rules of the agents’ behavior) at run-time. But if the behavior is based on parameters, then yes, the user of the applet can change them.

Getting Help

There is a variety of documentation and other help material accessible to AgentSheets users. Please take a moment to look through the following list that will help you decide where to refer to for your questions:

If you are a beginner in AgentSheets...

    ... the best place to start is the Getting Started manual or the Getting Started video tutorial. These provide you with step-by-step instruction on how to build a simple but complete simulation from scratch. You get a color hard-copy version of this manual when you order AgentSheets. There is also a printable version (a PDF file) which comes with AgentSheets (located in the Documentation folder of the application).

If you have questions about specific Visual AgenTalk language pieces in AgentSheets...

    ... refer to the Language Reference manual. You get a printed version of this manual when you order AgentSheets. There is also a printable version (a PDF file) on the AgentSheets CD, as part of the documentation installer and in the application folders.

    ...use the Help or Web Help button in Agentsheets: select a VAT language piece (condition, action or trigger) from the palettes and hit the Help or Web Help button (located at the bottom of the palettes). The former will give you a short description of the selected language piece. The latter indexes directly into the language reference manual and gives you a more elaborate description of the selected command and its parameters, along with examples of its use.

    .. use the Explain button: select a VAT language piece (condition, action, tirgger or rule) either in the palettes or in a behavior editor and hit the Explain button (located at the bottom of the palettes or the behavior editors). Animated speech will explain what the selected language piece

    ... drag any language piece and drop it onto any agent in a worksheet and test it! It's called Tactile Programming! For more information on what Tactile Programming is and how to use it, please refer to the Tactile Programming movie and the Getting Started manual.

If you are wondering what a menu option is doing and how to use it...

    ... refer to the Reference Manual which is accessible as HTML.

If you want to see illustrations of how you can use various features of AgentSheets...

    ... view the tutorial videos:

      Getting Started: a tutorial video with a step-by-step description of the creation of the Virus Attack simulation designed to teach you how to define looks and behaviors of agents and create a complete simulation from scratch.

      Ristretto: a tutorial video to help you learn how you can publish your AgentSheets Simulations on the Web, by turning them into a Java Applet using the Ristretto generator and embedding them in a web page.

      Tactile Programming: a video that explains how you can utilize the tactile programming style of Visual AgenTalk to explore the language functionality.

      Adding Properties: a video to help you learn how to use Simulation Properties which provide a way to keep track of numbers (e.g. the total number of sick people in the Virus Attack simulation).

      Getting Help: a video to provide you with guidance on how to get information about various components of AgentSheets (language pieces, agents, worksheets etc.) using Balloon Help, the Explain Button and Web Help.

    You can find these videos on the AgentSheets CD, in the Movies folder, or on the AgentSheets movie web site.

If you want to know what an existing project is about and how to use it...

    ... refer to the Readme documentation file that comes with every project (with a couple of exceptions)

    ... contact its creator (usually acknowledged in the Readme file)

And if you still have questions...

    ... contact us

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