Agent Frameworks

Agent Frameworks

Reinier Zwitserloot (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands) and Maja Pantic (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-561-0.ch003
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Software agent technology generally is defined as the area that deals with writing software in such a way that it is autonomous. In this definition, the word autonomous indicates that the software has the ability to react to changes in its environment in a way that it can continue to perform its intended job. Specifically, changes in its input channels, its output channels, and the changes in or the addition or removal of other agent software should cause the agent to change its own behavior in order to function properly in the new environment. In other words, the term software agent refers to the fact that a certain piece of software likely will be able to run more reliably without user intervention in a changing environment compared to similar software designed without the software agent paradigm in mind. This definition is quite broad; for example, an alarm clock that automatically accounts for daylight savings time could be said to be autonomous in this property; a change in its environment (namely, the arrival of daylight savings time) causes the software running the clock to adjust the time it displays to the user by one hour, preserving, in the process, its intended function—displaying the current time. A more detailed description of agent technology is available from Russel and Norvig (2003).

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