Toward an Agent-Oriented Paradigm of Information Systems

Toward an Agent-Oriented Paradigm of Information Systems

H. Zhu (Oxford Brookes University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-984-7.ch044
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This chapter presents a meta-model of information systems as a foundation for the methodology of caste-centric agent-oriented software development, which is suitable for applications on the Internet/Web platform and the utilization of mobile computing devices. In the model, the basic elements are agents classified into a number of castes. Agents are defined as active computational entities that encapsulate: (a) a set of state variables, (b) a set of actions that the agents are capable of performing, (c) a set of behaviour rules that determine when the agents will change their states and when to take actions, and (d) a definition of their environments in which they operate. Caste is the classifier of agents and the modular unit of the systems. It serves as the template that defines the structure and behaviour properties of agents, as class does for objects. Agents can be declared statically or created dynamically at runtime as instances of castes. This chapter also illustrates the advantages of agent-oriented information systems by an example.

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