Skip to content



The (open) AEA framework provides the necessary tools for creating Autonomous Economic Agents (AEA). It is a fork of the legacy AEA framework that gives no priority to any package vendor.

What are Autonomous Economic Agents (AEAs)?

We define an AEA as:

An intelligent agent acting on an owner's behalf, with limited or no interference, and whose goal is to generate economic value for its owner.

The AEA framework offers the owner, either an individual, an organisation, or another application, the ability to outsource the pursuit of their economic interests. Such interests may include maximizing the acquisition of items from a desired basket of goods, adaptive management of market exposure, or minimization of transaction costs within an application to benefit its users.

In order to be able to act on an owner's behalf AEAs need to be endowed with a sense of agency, which requires the ability to enact behaviour and exercise control over its consequences in a way that is commensurate with its owners' goals. The ability to autonomously interact with their environment and proactively engage in peer-to-peer dialogue is a distinctive feature of AEAs. Where otherwise the execution of skills and decision-making logic are left as an exercise to the reader, AEAs allow developers to design systems that pursue economic interests without the requirement of an owner to actively partake or continuously intervene in the process.

Information on areas and applications of AEAs and examples of their implementation are provided to illustrate their use.

What is the AEA Framework?

The AEA development suite, implemented in Python, equips the developer with an easily accessible set of tools for building AEAs. The framework is modular, composable and extensible. Its purpose is to make agent development as straightforward as web development became with the introduction of Django and Flask.

A modular design of components facilitates their reuse as parts of other applications that might serve an entirely different set of needs. The framework provided offers the user:

  • A peer-to-peer agent communication network (ACN) allows your AEAs to interact with all other AEAs over the public internet.
  • The framework's crypto and ledger APIs make it possible for AEAs to interact with blockchains such as Ethereum, and use these as a financial settlement and commitment layer.
  • A registry that enables code sharing and re-use by providing a space in which AEAs or their individual components may be shared.
  • The contract packages enable AEAs to interact with smart contracts on various decentralised ledgers.

Next steps

To get started developing your own AEA, check out the getting started section.

If you want to run a demo, check out the demo guides.

To learn more about the distinctive characteristics of agent-oriented development, check out the guide on agent-oriented development.

Help us improve


This developer documentation is a work in progress. If you spot any errors please open an issue on Github or contact us in the developer Discord channel.