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Re: Difference between Agents and (Semantic) Web Services

From: Andre Meyer <meyer@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2006 08:36:31 +0100
Message-ID: <7008329d0610312336t15664a73v73f1db03ce5db70a@mail.gmail.com>
To: "carl mattocks" <carlmattocks@gmail.com>, "Jyotishman Pathak" <jyotishman@gmail.com>
Cc: "Public-Sws-Ig@W3. Org" <public-sws-ig@w3.org>, semantic-web@w3.org
Well, not entirely. The concept of agents - and multi-agent systems (MAS) in
particular - is that of asynchronous autonomous processes. Agents do things
based on their own view of the world and their goals (some call them beliefs
and desires). They may offer services to others and use the W3C standards
for doing so. MAS is more of a concept and WS are a particular technology,
so it is not that easy to compare them. Nonetheless, I would suggest that
MAS includes WS. This is also understandable from a historic point of view.
Agent theory dates back to the early eighties (if not earlier) and there are
many implementations of agent systems that demonstrate ideas that have later
become Web standards. Agent-based systems use asynchronous distributed
message-passing for coordination in a peer-to-peer fashion. They often use
ontologies for describing the semantics of the message content, and so

The description of agents in the W3C web architecture document is a very
weak one and does not take into account the concept of autonomous agents. It
only looks at agents as system-user interfaces, which is a big shortcoming.
Unfortunately, there is still not a wide-spread standard for (mobile) agents
on the Web, but many technologies can be used to implement them, such as
OWL, SOAP, WSDL, Grid Computing, etc. as they have been influenced by the
MAS concept for a great deal.

What do you think?

kind regards

On 10/25/06, carl mattocks <carlmattocks@gmail.com> wrote:
> If you accept the WC3 definition that users of the web may be either human
> or software agents ... then "web services are a type of software agent".
> At the same time, given that we (at checkmi) and perhaps others, are
> building semantic agents that are fuly compliant with popular  WS standards,
> it would be accurate to say that "semantic software agents may be classified
> as a type of semantic web service". As ever, it is merely a matter of
> semantics :-}
> enjoy
> carl
> On 10/25/06, Jyotishman Pathak <jyotishman@gmail.com > wrote:
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> > Pardon me if this is a very naive question, but someone can please tell
> > me crisply the difference(s) between software agents and (semantic) Web
> > services? I have been trying to find out a comparison between them over the
> > Web and came across the following:
> > http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=873262, which unfortunately did
> > not suffice my query to its entirety.
> >
> > I look forward to your inputs.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > - Jyoti
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Jyotishman Pathak
> > WWW: http://www.cs.iastate.edu/~jpathak<http://www.cs.iastate.edu/%7Ejpathak>
> >
> --
> Chair OASIS Business Centric Methodology TC
> co-Chair OASIS (ISO/TS 15000) ebXMLRegistry Semantic Content SC
> Ontolog ONION Cop Leader
> vmail (usa) 908 322 8715
> CarlMattocks@checkmi.com
> www.CHECKMi.com
> Semantically Smart Compendiums

Dr. Andre P. Meyer                        http://python.openspace.nl/meyer
TNO Defence, Security and Safety           http://www.tno.nl/
Delft Cooperation on Intelligent Systems  http://www.decis.nl/

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Received on Wednesday, 1 November 2006 07:36:48 UTC

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