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The physical architecture of TRIPS is a hub and spoke message passing system. The hub (called the Facilitator) receives/passes messages from/to any of the other components. It also performs system start-up and shut-down coordination among components.
TRIPS' logical architecture is comprised of a complex network of agents (as shown in the image below). Each agent has a well-defined linguistic or planning role in the overall dialog interaction. (Click on the image below for specific information about a TRIPS component, or keep reading below for more general information)
The image above shows the logical flow of information among TRIPS components. KQML messages are used for communication.
TRIPS components can be divided into three areas of functionality: interpretation, generation, and behavior, which are directed by the Interpretation Manager, Generation Manager, and Behavioral Agent, respectively. These three agents comprise the triangular 'backbone' of the system. Each runs independently and asynchronously, which means the system can potentially be interpreting input from the user, interacting with the world, and planning a response based on previous input/actions, all at the same time. This division of labor allows the system to engage in mixed-initiative planning, where both the user and the system are active participants in the conversation.
When the user wishes to communicate with the system (either by speech, keyboard, or mouse), their input is parsed and sent to the Interpretation Manager, which interprets the parsed input as a problem solving act (i.e. it decides what the user really meant by his utterance). It passes the problem solving act to the Behavioral Agent, which decides how to respond to this problem solving act (e.g., use domain specific agents to accomplish the act, ignore it and work on something more pressing, etc.) The Behavioral Agent then reports its status to the Generation Manager, which then plans a linguistic act to communicate the Behavioral Agent's intentions to the user.
If you wish to see more details about the architecture of the system, please click on individual components in the image above or reference one of our papers shown below.
Papers Dealing with TRIPS Architecture