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Understanding Agent Systems (Springer Series on Agent Technology) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 19. Februar 2010

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From the reviews of the second edition:

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

"This book presents a formal approach to dealing with agents and agent systems. … The methodology presented takes a very significant step towards organising and structuring the diverse and disparate landscape of agent-based systems by applying formal methods to develop a defining and encompassing agent framework. The book will appeal equally to researchers, students, and professionals in industry." (PHINEWS, Vol. 7, 2005)

"The book consists of twelve chapters on two-hundred forty pages and contains a representative list of nearly two hundred references. Each chapter ends with a summary briefly outlining the main ideas. The significant ideas are illustrated by well chosen examples. … The book is useful for everybody interested in agent-based systems … . For his/her benefit, he/she gets didactically a perfect book presenting a unified view of a heterogeneous field of agent-based systems." (Tomas Brandejsky, Neural Network World, Vol. 14 (5), 2004)


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. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 2 Rezensionen
38 von 41 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Useful framework for agents, with helpful case studies. 18. August 2001
Von Ben Beitler - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
There are several books on intelligent agents and multi-agents systems that I've come across, but most are either too broad-ranging and shallow so that they don't actually get to important core issues, or they're too narrow and mathematical for my liking (and for many others). This excellent book somehow manages to pull off the feat of providing a good introduction to agents, while also drilling down to some fascinating and deep issues in multi-agent systems. What's particularly good is that it does two things - it analyses and explains the issues with really clear textual description, and then provides a more formal description (using the Z specification language) that is surprisingly readable.
After providing an introductory chapter, the book presents a "framework" for understanding agent systems (hence the title) in which it brings together various different notions of agents. The chapters cover the framework itself, the different kinds of inter-agent
relationships that arise within it (to get to multi-agent systems), and more complex agents with greater sophistication. There are also a couple of case-study chapters that show how the model can be used to give descriptions of BDI systems and the contract net.
Throughout, the authors provide really good explanations, and then also formal descriptions using Z. Whether or not you buy the claim that Z is the most used industrial formal method, it turns out that despite the mathematical nature of the Z specification, the book as a whole is really very readable. It is worth noting that the level of mathematical description in the book for describing the framework and the systems is pretty close to abstract code descriptions (which is perhaps not surprising given that Z is intended for use for specifying software). With the appendix intro to Z, the book should also be a useful resource for developers wanting to understand exactly what would be involved in building systems.
One of the difficulties I've found when reading about agents is trying to make sense of some very different ideas and systems, and trying to understand how they fit together. This book provides some of the answers. In summary, the book covers some basic agent concepts, and builds them up to describe quite complex multi-agent systems, moving from abstract ideas to descriptions of specific implemented systems, and showing how they come together. It provides an excellent
introduction to agents, and keeps going to address some much deeper issues.
3 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The Must-have Book about Agent Systems 16. November 2001
Von C.H. Douglas - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
If you only buy one book on agent systems you could do a whole lot worse than splash out on this thoroughly admirable and admirably thorough work from d'Inverno and Luck. Easy to follow (even if your Z spec is a bit rusty, as mine is), clear and really well set out. The authors have a deep understanding of their subject and a rare ability to communicate their ideas.
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