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)
Presenting a formal approach to dealing with agents and agent systems, the Z specification language is used to establish an accessible and unified formal account of agent systems and inter-agent relationships. In particular, the framework provides precise and unambiguous meanings for common concepts and terms for agent systems, and allows for the description of alternative agent models and architectures, and serves as a foundation for subsequent development of increasingly refined agent concepts. The practicability of this approach is verified by applyingthe formal framework to three detailed case studies. The methodology presented takes a very significant step towards organizing 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 should appeal equally to researchers, students, and professionals in industry.
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