Intelligent Software Agents in Electronic Commerce: A Socio-Technical Perspective
Mahesh S. Raisinghani (University of Dallas, USA), Christopher Klassen (The Software Construction Company, USA) and Lawrence L. Schkade (University of Texas, USA)
Copyright: © 2001
Although there is no firm consensus on what constitutes an intelligent agent (or software agent), an intelligent agent, when a new task is delegated by the user, should determine precisely what its goal is, evaluate how the goal can be reached in an effective manner, and perform the necessary actions by learning from past experience and responding to unforeseen situations with its adaptive, self-starting, and temporal continuous reasoning strategies. It needs to be not only cooperative and mobile in order to perform its tasks by interacting with other agents but also reactive and autonomous to sense the status quo and act independently to make progress towards its goals (Baek et al., 1999; Wang, 1999). Software agents are goal-directed and possess abilities such as autonomy, collaborative behavior, and inferential capability. Intelligent agents can take different forms, but an intelligent agent can initiate and make decisions without human intervention and have the capability to infer appropriate high-level goals from user actions and requests and take actions to achieve these goals (Huang, 1999; Nardi et al., 1998; Wang, 1999). The intelligent software agent is a computational entity than can adapt to the environment, making it capable of interacting with other agents and transporting itself across different systems in a network.