Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Multiagent Systems in the Web

Multiagent Systems in the Web
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Author(s): Hércules Antonio do Prado (Brazilian Enterprise for Agricultural Research and Catholic University of Brasília, Brazil), Aluizio Haendchen Filho (Anglo-Americano College, Brazil), Míriam Sayão (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) and Edilson Ferneda (Catholic University of Brasília, Brazil)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 7
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch436


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The rapid evolution of Internet has opened a new era in the distributed systems scenery: the bigger part of the information systems currently developed is focused in Web applications. Typically, the information resources in Web systems are dynamic, distributed, and heterogeneous. Since these computing environments are opened, information resources can be connected or disconnected at any time. This ubiquity of Web and its distributed and interconnected characteristics represent a natural field for multiagent systems (MAS), spreading this kind of application. Software agents can dynamically discover, orchestrate, and compose services, check activities, run business processes, and integrate heterogeneous applications. Most of the large organizations adopt heterogeneous and complex information systems. These systems must coordinate their applications in order to provide efficient support to business processes and consistent information management. Unfortunately, the operational software underlying these systems usually does not handle multitask distributed heterogeneous applications. Currently, enterprises are strongly interested in the strategic advantages of adopting distributed infrastructures that are designed to be dynamic, flexible, adaptable, and interoperable. In this context, the demand for agent-based applications has increased, opening new types of applications that include e-commerce, Web services, knowledge management, semantic Web, and information systems in general. Interesting solutions to B2B (business to business), e-business, and also applications that require interoperability based on knowledge about applications and business processes, will definitely benefit from the MAS technology. Also, intelligent information agents are regarded as one of the most promising areas for applying agents’ technology. Intelligent information agents act in fields like collaborative systems on Internet, knowledge discovery from heterogeneous sources, systems for intelligent management of information, and so on. The Web can also be seen as a big distributed database having XML (extensible markup language) and its extensions or modifications as an underlying data model. In this context, the MAS development has received support from new tools in order to make it easier for the developer to cope with specific requirements for Web architectures. It is accepted that these improvements in the technology, mainly by the new tools that are becoming available, will lead MAS technology to be explored in its full potential. So, we can state that the application domain of MAS is going to be strongly enlarged, defining a turning point in the systems development activity. In this chapter, we provide an overview on MAS technology, discuss how this technology is impacting the Web context, and provide a sound description of the concepts that are relevant to the application developers and target users.

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