Home > Process Programming and Workflow > Little-JIL
Process Programming and Workflow
Little-JIL »
Process Interpretation
Resource Management
Process Simulation
Process Analysis
Additional Information
All Little-JIL Publications
Licensed Software


Little-JIL is a graphical language for defining processes that coordinate the activities of autonomous agents and their use of resources during the performance of a task. Little-JIL programs are executable so that agents can be guided through a process while ensuring that their actions adhere to the process. Little-JIL programs are also statically analyzable to ensure that reliability requirements are satisfied for all executions of the process.

Flexible and adaptive, a Little-JIL process program defines a variety of ways of accomplishing tasks that can work with varying resource requirements and varying agent capabilities. Agents may be human or automated (software or robots, for example). The choice of particular techniques for a particular context can be made automatically based on resource availability or left up to intelligent agents. Thus, Little-JIL process programs need not tightly control the behavior of agents, but rather guide them through the maze of alternatives and facilitate their communication and resource sharing.

Semantically rich, the Little-JIL language provides features that allow proactive control flow as well as the ability to react to error situations and external events. Pre- and post-requisites are used to dynamically verify that the process is being applied correctly. Resources are defined using a rich resource model and are reserved and locked during the execution of a process. An agenda manager provides communication with the agents using a graphical user interface for human agents and an API for automated agents.

Language Features

  • Task-centered semantics that support multi-agent coordination
  • High-level proactive control constructs allow scheduling and drive execution forward
  • Reactions support event-driven processes
  • Powerful exception handling for recovery from failures
  • Pre and post-requisites help to detect and manage process deviations
  • Resource modelling and management guides and constrains execution
  • Information flow represents communication between tasks
  • Visual notation facilitates understandibility and conciseness

Selected Publications


Using Little-JIL to Coordinate Agents in Software Engineering
Alexander Wise, Aaron G. Cass, Barbara Staudt Lerner, Eric K. McCall, Leon J. Osterweil, Stanley M. Sutton, Jr., Automated Software Engineering Conference (ASE 2000), Grenoble, France, pp. 155-163, September 2000. (UM-CS-2000-045)

[ PostScript ] [ ACM ] [ PDF ]

Language Definition


Little-JIL 1.5 Language Report
Alexander Wise, Department of Computer Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, October 2006. (UM-CS-2006-51)

[ PDF ]


This site is maintained by the Laboratory for Advanced Software Engineering Research.
© 2006 University of Massachusetts AmherstSite Policies