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The Structure of this Article

Now that we have at least a preliminary understanding of what an agent is, we can embark on a more detailed look at their properties, and how we might go about constructing them. For convenience, we identify three key issues, and structure our survey around these (cf. [Seel, 1989]):

As we pointed out above, the distinctions between these three areas are occasionally somewhat dubious. The issue of agent theories is discussed in the section 2. In section 3, we discuss architectures, and in section 4, we discuss agent languages. A brief discussion of applications appears in section 5, and some concluding remarks appear in section 6.

Finally, a note on the scope of the article. It is important to realise that we are writing very much from the point of view of AI, and the material we have chosen to review clearly reflects this. Also, the article is not a review of Distributed AI, although the material we discuss arguably falls under this banner. We have deliberately avoided discussing topics that are the domain of classical DAI (such as cooperation protocols, cooperative problem solving, and so on); for reviews of this area, see [Bond and Gasser, 1988] and [Chaib-draa et al., 1992].

Next: Agent Theories Up: Introduction Previous: Other Attributes of
Fri Nov 4 16:03:55 GMT 1994