Document Type

Article

Subject Area(s)

Computer Science and Engineering

Abstract

As the technology advances, we can expect the development of specialized agents to be used as standardized building blocks for information systems. Two trends lend credence to such a prediction. First, software systems in general are being constructed with larger components, such as ActiveX and JavaBeans, which are becoming closer to being agents themselves. They have more functionality than simple objects, respond to events autonomously, and, most importantly, respond to system builders at development time, as well as to events at runtime. Moreover, there is a move toward more cooperative information systems, in which the architecture itself plays an important role in the effectiveness of the system, as opposed to traditional software systems where effectiveness depends on the quality of the individual components. These architectures are generating a set of standardized agents. Architectures based on standardized agent types should be easier to develop, understand, and use. Perhaps most important of all, these architectures will make it easier for separately developed information systems to interoperate.

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