From the reviews of the second edition:
An excellent book that lays out a clear conceptual framework for studying and analysing agent-based systems.
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.
It is undoubtedly a clear and most comprehensive attempt to describe agent-based systems in a unified manner.
"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.
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