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.

In 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 and demand.

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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