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Definition of agent in the Web Architecture

From: AP Meyer <a.p.meyer@fel.tno.nl>
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 09:47:16 +0200
Message-ID: <4132DB84.3050307@fel.tno.nl>
To: public-webarch-comments@w3.org

Hi All

It is a pleasure to see how often the term agent is used in the 
architecture document. This confirms the intimate relationship of agent 
technology and the semantic web. However, the definition given at 
http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-webarch-20040816/#def-web-agent is too 

In particular the notions of autonomy and intelligence are not 
mentioned. Autonomy refers to the ability of agents to act without 
explicit commands, e.g. by defining long-term goals. Tasks may be 
allocated in negotiations among agents without human intervention.

Intelligence refers to the ability of agents to reason about their 
actions based on their world model. OWL reasoners are an example for 
this, others are BDI logics, rule-based systems and others. Adding 
autonomy and intelligence as explicit features of agents broadens the 
scope of the use of agent technology for the semantic web to include 
slef-organising agent societies less tied to immediate user actions.

A third relevant attribute of agents for the (semantic) web is mobility. 
Mobile agents can travel among address spaces and interact locally with 
other agents and services. The inclusion of mobility as part of the Web 
Architecture would allow agents to play a more active role on the Web, 
resulting in open systems for agent societies. Standardisation of agent 
platforms occurs within FIPA (http://www.fipa.org/).

For reference on multi-agent systems see:
Weiss, G. (ed.), Multiagent Systems: A Modern Approach to Distributed 
Artificial Intelligence, MIT Press, 2000

hope this helps
kind regards

Dr. Andre P. Meyer                        http://home.hccnet.nl/a.meyer/
TNO FEL Command & Control and Simulation, http://www.fel.tno.nl/div2/
Delft Cooperation on Intelligent Systems, http://www.decis.nl/

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Received on Monday, 30 August 2004 07:56:26 UTC

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