Sunday, 4 November 2007

Distinguishing Agents

Quotes taken from 'Agent Technology for e-Commerce' (2007), Maria Fasli

A paradigm shift (page 5):

"... What distinguishes agents from other pieces of software is that computation is not simply calculation, but delegation and interaction; users do not act upon agents as they do with other software programs, but they delegate tasks to them and interact with them in a conversational rather than in a command mode. Intrinsically, agents enable the transition from simple static algorithmic-based computation to dynamic interactive delegation-based service-oriented computation..."

The novelty in agents (page 8):

"So what is it that makes agents different, over and beyond other software? Whereas traditional software applications need to be told explicitly what it is that they need to accomplish and the exact steps that they have to perform, agents need to be told what the goal is but not how to achieve it. Then, being 'smart', they will actively seek ways to satisfy this goal, acting with the minimum intervention from the user. Agents will figure out what needs to be done to ahieve the delegated goal, but also react to any changes in the environment as they occur, which may affect their plans and goal accomplishment, and then subsequently modify their course of action..."

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