There has been a lot of research done in the area of intelligent agents. Some of the literature (Guilfoyle, 1994; Johansen, Marzullo, & Lauvset, 1999) only proposes certain features of intelligent agents, while some of it attempts to define a complete agent architecture. Unfortunately, there is no standardization in the various proposals, resulting in vastly different agent systems. Efforts are being made to standardize some aspects of agent systems so that different systems can interoperate with each other.
Key Terms in this Chapter
E-Commerce: Electronic commerce or e-commerce consists primarily of the distributing, buying, selling, marketing, and servicing of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks.
Agent Freeze: In order to protect the agent during its roaming, sensitive functions and codes inside the agent body will be frozen, that is, encrypted using the freeze key in the roaming permit.
Digital Certificate: This is a certificate that uses a digital signature to bind together a public key with an identity: information such as the name of a person or an organization, an address, and so forth. The certificate can be used to verify that a public key belongs to an individual.
Agent: An agent is a piece of software that acts to accomplish tasks on behalf of its user.
Security: Security is the effort to create a secure computing platform designed so that agents (users or programs) can only perform actions that have been allowed.
Knowledge Query and Manipulation Language (KQML): KQML is one of the most widely accepted standards. Developed as part of the knowledge sharing effort, KQML is designed as a high-level language for run-time exchange of information between heterogeneous systems.
M-commerce: M-commerce or mobile commerce stands for electronic commerce made through mobile devices.
Protocol: A protocol is a convention or standard that controls or enables the connection, communication, and data transfer between two computing endpoints. Protocols may be implemented by hardware, software, or a combination of the two. At the lowest level, a protocol defines a hardware connection.
Agent Transport: This is the shipping of agents across machines in the Internet.