Soft Computing Agents

A New Perspective for Dynamic Information Systems

Loia, V.
Pub. date
January 2003
83 of Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
ISBN print
Artificial Intelligence, Computer & Communication Sciences, Computer Science
€103 / US$149 Excl. VAT
Order Soft Computing Agents ISBN @ €103.00

In the last thirty years the researchers involved in the design of smart systems have continuously provided methodologies and technologies to deal human and artificial behaviours. The study of intelligent machines is attested by an enormous and growing literature and by a remarkable spin-off in wide range of innovative projects. Nevertheless these efforts, intelligent-based systems design still remain an open problem, especially from a performances as well as complexity viewpoints. Recent advances in networking technology and the ubiquity of the Internet open new perspectives in software application improvement. This new scenario demands new paradigms to cope with computational models characterized by an unceasing dynamism, strong decentralization, and high unpredictability. The exciting potential of agent technology has deeply marked these last years as a winning strategy to address the issues cited before. Agents or Multi-Agent Systems sketch intelligent behaviours by describing and managing computational activities shared over communities of large-grain entities. Even though an agent owns a partial knowledge and a reduced deductive ability; it may acquire wider competences thanks to rich interaction-cooperation schemas. It is clear that agent technology better fits the aspects of all those problems which can be depicted in terms of cooperating endeavours.

Soft Computing, and in particular Fuzzy Technology, may play an important role in the design of smart agents. Promising benefits derive from well-founded soft computing -oriented approaches in order to better manage the behavioural models of the agents, especially when the interactions occur in an environment characterized by imprecision, uncertainty, and partial truth.

The book intends to focus the contributions into three basic directions: to present the state-of-the-art in the development of soft computing -based agents; to examine the role of soft computing-based technology in various facets of agent design (problem-solving, autonomy, adaptivity, reactivity, communication, interaction); to cross-fertilize ideas on the soft computing perspective to the development of agent-based intelligent information systems.