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The Brahms MultiAgent Simulation Environment

  • Brahms is a simulation tool for representing the interactive behaviors of people and objects in a simulated world.
  • Brahms consists of a modeling language, parser, simulation engine, behavior visualization & interactive development environment (Brahms IDE)
  • A virtual reality browser environment (Brahms VE) is under development.
  • Maarten Sierhuis' dissertation research shows the potential of using Brahms for analyzing and designing complex work systems.

For detailed, up-to-date information on Brahms, please go to:

Contrast with other modeling frameworks

  • Represents work in more detail than a business process model, but generally less detail than a cognitive, problem-solving model.
  • Focus is more on how/whose knowledge is called into play, rather than specifying the ideal knowledge required to solve a task.
  • Represents spatial-temporal aspects of work in some detail, especially the geographic layout and its influence on agent-object interactions.


  • Developed by NYNEX to improve upon then conventional work process modeling tools used for "Business Process Reengineering"
  • Response to business process reengineering view of starting with blank slate, rather than understanding worker capabilities and trajectory of change inherent in the workplace.
  • Joint project (1992-1997) between NYNEX Science & Technology and Institute for Research on Learning (Clancey & Jordan; Eichner, Sachs, Torok, & Sierhuis)


  • "Make social processes visible"
  • Process modeling tool usable in collaboration with workers
  • Represent what work flows omit: informal assistance, interrupt-resume, multi-tasking

Complex models developed as of Spring 2001

  • NYNEX T.1 Provisioning ­ Turf Coordinator
  • NYNEX Business Network Architecture (BNA) Order Processing
  • Kaiser-Permanente Medical clinic (paper design only)
  • Apollo ALSEP Deployment (Sierhuis dissertation)
  • Victoria Lunar Mission Design (Sierhuis dissertation)

Models under development (Spring 2001)


  • William J. Clancey, Project Lead, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Maarten Sierhuis, Project Manager, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Ron Van Hoof, Lead Programmer
  • Michael Scott, Senior Programmer
  • Boris Brodsky, Modeler
  • Chin Seah, Modeler
  • Alessandro Acquisti, Research Assistant
  • Charis Kaskiris, Research Assistant
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