The DecisionMaker can be thought of like a wallet manager plus "economic brain" of the AEA. It is responsible for the AEA's crypto-economic security and goal management, and it contains the preference and ownership representation of the AEA. The decision maker is the only component which has access to the wallet's private keys.

Interaction with skills

Skills communicate with the decision maker via InternalMessages. There exist two types of these:

  • TransactionMessage: it is used by skills to propose a transaction to the decision-maker. It can be used either for settling the transaction on-chain or to sign a transaction to be used within a negotiation.

  • StateUpdateMessage: it is used to initialize the decision maker with preferences and ownership states. It can also be used to update the ownership states in the decision maker if the settlement of transaction takes place off chain.

An InternalMessage, say tx_msg is sent to the decision maker like so from any skill:


The decision maker processes messages and can accept or reject them.

To process InternalMessages from the decision maker in a given skill you need to create a TransactionHandler like so:

class TransactionHandler(Handler):

    protocol_id = InternalMessage.protocol_id

    def handle(self, message: Message):
        Handle an internal message.

        :param message: the internal message from the decision maker.
        # code to handle the message

Custom DecisionMaker

The framework implements a default DecisionMakerHandler. You can implement your own and mount it. The easiest way to do this is to run the following command to scaffold a custom DecisionMakerHandler:

aea scaffold decision-maker-handler

You can then implement your own custom logic to process InternalMessages and interact with the Wallet.


For examples how to use these concepts have a look at the `tac_` skills. These functionalities are experimental and subject to change.