Agent – The Source of CHEMCAD flowsheet results

posted in: Help, Lab 0

This page explains the purpose and the functionality of the Agent program.

What is an Agent?

Any computer with CHEMCAD installed can be an Agent.

Agents receive CHEMCAD flowsheets for calculation from the Dispatcher.

The Dispatcher lives on Lab. Read about Dispatcher's functionality here. You can see Dispatcher in action here.

After calculation of the flowsheet, Agents return their results to Dispatcher.

How can I use it?

As a member of the CHEMCAD SCIENTIFIC CLUSTER INITIATIVE (CSCI), you can get the Agent from here.

Running the program installs the Agent as a Windows service.

As Microsoft explains, these services can be automatically started when the computer boots, can be paused and restarted, and do not show any user interface. Services run in a specific security context. Therefore, they do not interfere with other users who are working on the same computer.

First of all, this technology gives you unlimited CHEMCAD computing power. The more computers you add, the more calculations you run in parallel. Finally, you don't need a super-computer. You scale with normal, high-street shop computers.

Because the intelligence of splitting the total work sits in a separate Caller program, you can implement any problem-specific algorithm. On Lab, we have implemented an n-dimensional sensitivity analysis and a genetic algorithm for demonstration purposes.

Are there side-effects?

Yes, but you are in full control.

Starting the program starts CHEMCAD. Therefore, it consumes a CHEMCAD license.

When the Agent receives a task from Dispatcher, it consumes CPU and Memory. Currently, we have limited this to 1 core. A not-too-old machine is usually able to handle the performance requirement from running CHEMCAD in the background.

When a user logs in, the Agent program finishes the current job and switches to "Host busy". CHEMCAD terminates and the license is released.

When the last user logs out or locks the screen, the program (re)starts and switches to "Idle". This signals to Dispatcher to send new work. Watch this action here!

Agent's license, which you receive after download from the shop, must be installed on Lab. Currently, there is no functionality for you to do this yourself. Please write to after you received the license and you installed Agents on several machines, and we will happily register the license for you.

What's the Windows warning about?

We have not yet signed the Addon-Manager-setup.EXE with a certificate. The certificate proves that we are a legitimate publisher.

We are planning to do this by the end of September 2018.

Select "Run anyway" and follow the dialogue.


Icon by Yu luck, KR / CC BY

Academic institutions: Contribute to the CHEMCAD SCIENTIFIC CLUSTER INITIATIVE (CSCSI) today!