Interaction of Agent in E-Business: A Look at Different Sources

Interaction of Agent in E-Business: A Look at Different Sources

Jorge A. Romero (Towson University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-236-7.ch005
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Despite the popularity of agents for the information technology infrastructure, questions remain because it is not clear what do e-business agents do for businesses and what could they do for consumers. Who benefits most from agents? Are they practical? Can we trust them? Are they as efficient as human agents? Ar they already implemented in online businesses? In this chapter, we will discuss the role that agents play in e-business applications.
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Imagine this scenario: where the space on your hard drive is getting low so your computer deletes some old video files you have already watched. It is Sunday and you are low on milk, eggs, salt, and some other essentials, so your refrigerator orders more groceries; the toner in your printer is low, so it orders more toner; you receive an e-mail from your credit card company and the e-mail is replied automatically, all of this is done without any effort from you. You are probably thinking that these technologies are not yet available, but all of these things are possible. These tasks and many more can all be performed by e-business agents. Beyond just moving an e-mail from your credit company to a folder, your agent can receive an e-mail from a new credit card company, make a folder for future emails from that company and will begin moving older e-mails to an archive folder without asking you. But your agent does not move all the e-mails from your credit card company to the archive. Your agent leaves your monthly statements from your credit card in your inbox because it knows that you would like to review your bill before you pay it. Instead of just ordering milk and eggs, your refrigerator also orders meat and some bread, anticipating your needs. An agent does not just perform the tasks you ask it to complete; an agent may make assumptions and perform tasks based on past experiences. An agent can order meals that it believes you will enjoy, or it might order a generic toner in case it knows that you do not have preference for a specific brand. One of the most common agents consumers own is Tivo1. Tivo can record television shows that it is programmed to record, and it also makes inferences on the shows it thinks you may want to watch.

Business agents are supposed to guide people where they need to go, and help a company make informed decisions, make recommendations, and if given the authority, hire employees, make purchases, and overall, help the company to run smoothly and efficiently. Similarly, e-business agents, sometimes referred to as digital agents, virtual agents, software agents, or intelligent agents, do many different things for people and business and must therefore be evaluated in order to determine what services they can best provide.

According to Weiss (2001), agents are a new paradigm and concept for developing software applications, and these are most prominent in e-business for agent based technology. These agents are used in many different applications, not only on a small scale but also on a large scale. Weiss (2001) states that while there is no universally accepted concept of what an agent is in terms of e-business, he identifies four widely accepted properties which are used to characterize agents: autonomy (autonomous computational entities), social ability (ability to interactive with other agents), reactivity (ability to interact with they environment), and proactiveness (ability to achieve own goals). An agent technology can also be described as a computational system that runs independently, communicates asynchronously, and can run dynamically on several processes, several machines, and can support the anonymous interoperation of agents (Helal et al., 1999).

Agents are autonomous computational devices that can interact with their environment including other agents in order to achieve their goals. Agents will have the ability to adjust to their environment and have some intelligence. Agents can represent individuals thus acting as delegates or they can act on behalf of groups thus acting as mediators.

A key difference between objects and agents is their autonomy of action (Weiss, 2001). Agents operate under their own control, can work for a long period, take initiative, react to stimuli guided by their goals, and leverage their ability to achieve their goals. A society of agents can be viewed as one that results because of agent interaction or a group of agents that operate under common restriction. A catalog of agent interaction patterns can be used to construct the agent society. The pattern of interaction may also specify constraints or policies that must be fulfilled. Policies define the constraints on the agent society. Roles are the center of agent control, and protocols reflect the pattern of behavior. This role for agents helps users by delegating time-consuming peripheral tasks. Some problems that arise are, how much discretion should be assigned to the agent, and how will the agent interact with the world? (Weiss, 2001).

Complete Chapter List

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List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Georgi Stojanov
Chapter 1
R. Keith Sawyer
Sociology should be the foundational science of social emergence. But to date, sociologists have neglected emergence, and studies of emergence are... Sample PDF
The Science of Social Emergence
Chapter 2
Christopher Goldspink, Robert Kay
This chapter critically examines our theoretical understanding of the dialectical relationship between emergent social structures and agent... Sample PDF
Agent Cognitive Capabilities and Orders of Social Emergence
Chapter 3
Joseph C. Bullington
Social interaction represents a powerful new locus of research in the quest to build more truly human-like artificial agents. The work in this area... Sample PDF
Agents and Social Interaction: Insights from Social Psychology
Chapter 4
M. Afzal Upal
This chapter will critically review existing approaches to the modeling transmission of cultural information and advocate a new approach based on a... Sample PDF
Predictive Models of Cultural Information Transmission
Chapter 5
Jorge A. Romero
Despite the popularity of agents for the information technology infrastructure, questions remain because it is not clear what do e-business agents... Sample PDF
Interaction of Agent in E-Business: A Look at Different Sources
Chapter 6
Adam J. Conover
This chapter presents a description of ongoing experimental research into the emergent properties of multi-agent communication in “temporally... Sample PDF
A Simulation of Temporally Variant Agent Interaction via Passive Inquiry
Chapter 7
Richard Schilling
This chapter presents a generalized messaging infrastructure that can be used for distributed agent systems. The principle of agent feedback... Sample PDF
Agent Feedback Messaging: A Messaging Infrastructure for Distributed Message Delivery
Chapter 8
Yu Zhang, Mark Lewis, Christine Drennon, Michael Pellon, Coleman
Multi-agent systems have been used to model complex social systems in many domains. The entire movement of multi-agent paradigm was spawned, at... Sample PDF
Modeling Cognitive Agents for Social Systems and a Simulation in Urban Dynamics
Chapter 9
Scott Watson, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Wan Ching (Steve) Ho, Rafal Dawidowicz
This chapter discusses certain issues in the development of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) populated by autonomous social agents, with... Sample PDF
Developing Relationships Between Autonomous Agents: Promoting Pro-Social Behaviour Through Virtual Learning Environments Part I
Chapter 10
Martin Takác
In this chapter, we focus on the issue of understanding in various types of agents. Our main goal is to build up notions of meanings and... Sample PDF
Construction of Meanings in Biological and Artificial Agents
Chapter 11
Myriam Abramson
In heterogeneous multi-agent systems, where human and non-human agents coexist, intelligent proxy agents can help smooth out fundamental... Sample PDF
Training Coordination Proxy Agents Using Reinforcement Learning
Chapter 12
Deborah V. Duong
The first intelligent agent social model, in 1991, used tags with emergent meaning to simulate the emergence of institutions based on the principles... Sample PDF
The Generative Power of Signs: The Importance of the Autonomous Perception of Tags to the Strong Emergence of Institutions
Chapter 13
Josefina Sierra, Josefina Santibáñez
This chapter addresses the problem of the acquisition of the syntax of propositional logic. An approach based on general purpose cognitive... Sample PDF
Propositional Logic Syntax Acquisition Using Induction and Self-Organisation
Chapter 14
Giovanni Vincenti, James Braman
Emotions influence our everyday lives, guiding and misguiding us. They lead us to happiness and love, but also to irrational acts. Artificial... Sample PDF
Hybrid Emotionally Aware Mediated Multiagency
Chapter 15
Samuel G. Collins, Goran Trajkovski
In this chapter, we give an overview of the results of a Human-Robot Interaction experiment, in a near zerocontext environment. We stimulate the... Sample PDF
Mapping Hybrid Agencies Through Multiagent Systems
Chapter 16
Scott Watson, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Wan Ching (Steve) Ho, Rafal Dawidowicz
This chapter is a continuation from Part I, which has described contemporary psychological descriptions of bullying in primary schools and two... Sample PDF
Developing Relationships Between Autonomous Agents: Promoting Pro-Social Behaviour Through Virtual Learning Environments Part II
Chapter 17
Mario Paolucci, Rosaria Conte
This chapter is focused on social reputation as a fundamental mechanism in the diffusion and possibly evolution of socially desirable behaviour... Sample PDF
Reputation: Social Transmission for Partner Selection
Chapter 18
Adam J. Conover
This chapter concludes a two part series which examines the emergent properties of multi-agent communication in “temporally asynchronous”... Sample PDF
A Simulation of Temporally Variant Agent Interaction via Belief Promulgation
Chapter 19
David B. Newlin
Following the discovery in Rhesus monkeys of “mirror neurons” that fire during both execution and observation of motor behavior, human studies have... Sample PDF
The Human Mirror Neuron System
Chapter 20
Eric Baumer, Bill Tomlinson
This chapter presents an argument that the process of emergence is the converse of the process of abstraction. Emergence involves complex behavior... Sample PDF
Relationships Between the Processes of Emergence and Abstraction in Societies
Chapter 21
Vern R. Walker
In modern legal systems, a large number of autonomous agents can achieve reasonably fair and accurate decisions in tens of thousands of legal cases.... Sample PDF
Emergent Reasoning Structures in Law
Chapter 22
Theodor Richardson
Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDS) are designed to differentiate malicious traffic, from normal traf- fic, on a network system to detect the... Sample PDF
Agents in Security: A Look at the Use of Agents in Host-Based Monitoring and Protection and Network Intrusion Detection
Chapter 23
Michael J. North, Thomas R. Howe, Nick Collier, Eric Tatara, Jonathan Ozik, Charles Macal
Search has been recognized as an important technology for a wide range of software applications. Agentbased modelers often face search challenges... Sample PDF
Search as a Tool for Emergence
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