Now there can be no doubt in my mind that actuator is the right word to use. On Friday, August 4, 2006, on one of my many internet searches for the word Actuator over the past three years, I came across this paper that used the word actuator in an economic context in 2002, thus predating my use of the word actuator in an economic context (2003-present); This is good, because Gerkey and Mataric's paper reinforces the legitimacy of the term actuator in an economic context. They use the word in a slightly more well-defined/narrowly-defined manner, and specifically within the context of a network of robot 'nodes' they call a Sensor Actuator Network (SAN). They speak of simulation as well as real robots. I was suprised to learn of this acronym, because I had independently developed a similar acronym Speculator Actuator Demander model of agent characteristics (SAD) model of agent characteristics. But now that I have read their paper, It seems that perhaps the word "sensor" is better than "speculator" in getting across the idea of the ability to get information. The biggest differences between my version and their version of ideas are:
1)that they seem to limit themselves to using the word actuator in describing robots, and I want to use the term more broadly in any context with players or agents or people or whatever.
2)I want to think of demander characteristics as being a part of the players themselves, so they have a natural stake in the outcome, not just a market stake that can be traded away. This means their natural preferences can be neutralized by an equal and opposite hedging stake in the market.
They said SAN I said SAD
They said Node I said Agent
They said task I said change in outcome probability
Here is the paper by Gerkey and Mataric that reinforces the use of the word "actuator" in an economic context:
A Market Based Formulation of Sensor-Actuator Network Coordination
Brian P. Gerkey and Maja J. Mataric