Multiagent systems are widely recognized as a method of choice for realization of distributed time-critical applications for the smart grid. However, no general solutions have been proposed for the difficult task of system development and validation, ready for deployment, which would fully account for the underlying communication network performance. We propose a novel platform designed for this purpose, which integrates a standard multiagent development framework [Java Agent Development (JADE)] and an industry standard communications network simulator (OPNET modeler). It was realized through generic extensions of the JADE framework to provide discrete event scheduling capabilities, while the OPNET modeler was extended to provide a generic method of associating the network nodes with agents running in JADE.
The adopted method adheres to the high-level architecture standard. Importantly, applications developed using this platform may be deployed on the target system without manual modifications. A distributed protection application is presented and the performance is analyzed with respect to candidate agent behaviors and communication scenarios, demonstrating that the feasibility of the application critically depends on the choices made during its design and implementation.