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Understanding Agent Systems (Springer Series on Agent Technology)by Mark D'inverno
Synopses & Reviews
This book helps to organise the diverse landscape of agent-based systems by applying formal methods to provide a defining and encompassing agent framework. The Z specification language is used to provide an accessible and unified formal account of agent systems and inter-agent relationships. In particular, the framework precisely and unambiguously provides meanings for common concepts and terms for agent systems, enables alternative agent models and architectures to be described within it, and provides a foundation for subsequent development of increasingly more refined agent concepts. It describes agents, the relationships between them and the requisite capabilities for effective functioning in multi-agent systems, and is applied in different case studies. In the second edition the authors have revised and updated the existing chapters of the book to respond to advice from readers of the first edition, to add references to recent work in agent systems, and generally to bring the content up to date. They have extended the introduction and conclusions chapters to include a better review of the field and the current state-of-the-art. This new edition features chapters on agent interaction and norms, and outlines an implementation framework. The book will appeal equally to researchers, students and technologists interested in intelligent agents and multi-agent systems. Comments from experts in the field: An excellent book that lays out a clear conceptual framework for studying and analysing agent-based systems. Nick Jennings Mark d'Inverno and Michael Luck have, over the last six or seven years, been at the forefront of European research in agent systems. This book poses some important foundational questions about agents and their interactions in multi-agent systems and answers them in a coherent and convincing way. It's an extremely valuable contribution to the field. Michael Georgeff It is undoubtedly a clear and most comprehensive attempt to describe agent-based systems in a unified manner. Simon Parsons
Mark d'Inverno and Michael Luck present a formal approach to dealing with agents and agent systems in this second edition of Understanding Agent Systems. The Z specification language is used to establish an accessible and unified formal account of agent systems and inter-agent relationships. In particular, the framework provides precise and unambiguous meanings for common concepts and terms for agent systems, allows for the description of alternative agent models and architectures, and serves as a foundation for subsequent development of increasingly refined agent concepts. The practicability of this approach is verified by applying the formal framework to three detailed case studies. The book will appeal equally to researchers, students, and professionals in industry.
About the Author
Mark d'Inverno has been working in the field of agent-based systems for well over 10 years and is currently Professor of Computer Science in the Cavendish School of Computer Science at the University of Westminster. He gained a BA in Mathematics in 1986 and an MSc in Computation in 1988 both from Oxford University, and in 1998 was awarded a PhD from University College London. He has published numerous papers in the area and is an expert in formal sepcification of agent systems. Prof d'Inverno is a founder of the UKMAS workshops, has chaired two UKMAS wortkshops and is a member of the UKMAS Steering Committee. He sits on several conference and workshop programme committees. Michael Luck is a Senior Lecturer in the Intelligence, Agents and Multimedia Group in the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, UK. He has worked in the field of agent technology and multi-agent systems for over ten years, having previously led the Agent-Based Systems Group at the University of Warwick for seven years, and having gained his PhD from University College London in 1993 for work on agent-based discovery. Dr Luck is a co-founder of the UK Special Interest Group on Multi-Agent Systems, and currently Chair of the UKMAS Steering Committee. He is a member of the Advisory Boards of FIPA (the agent standards body), MAAMAW (the European agent conference) and CEEMAS (the Central and Eastern European agent conference). He has served on numerous programme committees for agent conferences and workshops, and has organised and chaired several international conferences in the area of agents, including those for industry. Dr Luck has contributed to policy making forums for national and European agencies, has reviewed proposals for many national and international funding agencies, and has published extensively in this area (with over 75 papers and 5 books). Since 2000, he has been Director of AgentLink, the European Network of Excellence for Agent-Based Computing.
Table of Contents
The Agent Landscape.- The SMART Agent Framework.- Agent Relationships.- An Operational Analysis of Agent Relationships.- Sociological Agents.- Autonomous Interaction.- The Contract Net as a Goal Directed System.- Computational Architecture for BDI Agents.- Evaluating Social Dependence Networks.- Normative Agents.- actSMART: Building a SMART System.- Conclusions.- A. The Z Specification Language.- References.- Index.
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