Tomorrow's software agents might be the
main software component of personalized smart
devices with wireless communication capabilities. Such smart
devices are envisioned to embed the Internet in mobile phones, smart
sensors, smart clothes... These devices are mostly considered to passively
collect information from the environment or centralized web servers
and display this information to the human user. But there is just a
small step to have them actively pursuing a goal,
according to given preferences and an adaptive strategy. These autonomous
devices can be either stationary, such as a refrigerator which buys
food, or mobile, such as a PDA-based shopping agent.
changing electronic commerce environments, these agents might
be able to buy and sell autonomously on behalf of their human owner.
From a system perspective, a decentralized and continuously changing
multi-agent system is created with the need for coordination of supply
Instead of constant interaction between human owners of such devices,
responsibility to conduct these economic transactions may be handed
over to software agents: software that acts autonomously
in some environment to fulfill its design goals. These agents will monitor
other agents and the environment continuously, watching for potential
opportunities to fulfill their design goals.
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