COVID-19 Update: We are currently shipping orders daily. However, due to transit disruptions in some geographies, deliveries may be delayed. To provide all customers with timely access to content, we are offering 50% off Science and Technology Print & eBook bundle options. Terms & conditions.
Readings in Agents - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781558604957, 9780080515809

Readings in Agents

1st Edition

Editors: Michael Huhns Munindar Singh
Paperback ISBN: 9781558604957
eBook ISBN: 9780080515809
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 31st January 1998
Page Count: 523
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out Price includes VAT/GST

Institutional Subscription

Secure Checkout

Personal information is secured with SSL technology.

Free Shipping

Free global shipping
No minimum order.


The world of agents comprises a broad range of intelligent programs that perform specific tasks on behalf of their users. Agents are distinguished from other types of software by their status as independent entities capable of completing complex assignments without intervention, rather than as tools that must be manipulated by a user. Largely the province of speculation before the early 1990s, agent research has flourished since the advent of the Internet, which has created an ideal operating environment.

This important collection unifies the extensive recent literature on agent technology, presenting a wealth of the finest published papers on both theory and applications. Huhns and Singh have drawn on research communities in AI, databases, distributed computing, and programming languages to assemble the most comprehensive overview of the agent world available. The editors add a summary of the field and its terminology, history, and major issues, together with introductions to each of the thematic chapters and discussions of the significance and context of the individual papers.

Focuses on:

  • applications of agents
  • classical techniques for agent construction
  • theory for modeling and understanding agents
  • intellectual frontiers in agent science.

Researchers, practitioners, and students will gain the essential background and perspective needed to understand and appreciate current and future agent research.

Table of Contents

Foreword Preface

Chapter 1 Agents and Multiagent Systems: Themes, Approaches, and Challenges

Chapter 2 Applications 2.1 Enterprises

  • Industrial Applications of Distributed AI, by B. Chaib-draa
  • Global Information Management via Local Autonomous Agents, by Michael N. Huhns, Munindar P. Singh, and Tomasz Ksiezyk
  • PACT: An Experiment in Integrating Concurrent Engineering Systems, by Mark R. Cutkosky, Robert S. Engelmore, Richard E. Fikes, Michael R. Genesereth, Thomas R. Gruber, William S. Mark, Jay M. Tenenbaum, and Jay C. Weber
  • The Redux' Server, by Charles Petrie
  • Issues in Automated Negotiation and Electronic Commerce: Extending the Contract Net Framework, by Tuomas Sandholm and Victor Lesser

2.2 Internet and Information Access

  • A Softbot-Based Interface to the Internet, by Oren Etzioni and Daniel Weld
  • Query Processing in the SIMS Information Mediator, by Yigal Arens, Chun-Nan Hsu, and Craig A. Knoblock
  • Matchmaking for Information Agents, by Daniel Kuokka and Larry Harada
  • The Agent Architecture of the University of Michigan Digital Library, by E. H. Durfee, D. L. Kiskis, and W. P. Birmingham

2.3 Personal Assistants

  • Collaborative Interface Agents, by Yezdi Lashkari, Max Metral, and Pattie Maes
  • COLLAGEN: When Agents Collaborate with People, by Charles Rich and Candace L. Sidner
  • An Experiment in the Design of Software Agents, by Henry Kautz, Bart Selman, Michael Coen, Steven Ketchpel, and Chris Ramming
  • A Planner for Exploratory Data Analysis, by Robert St. Amant and Paul R. Cohen

2.4 Other Applications

  • Multiagent Collaboration in Directed Improvisation, by Barbara Hayes-Roth, Lee Brownston, and Robert van Gent
  • Animated Conversation: Rule-Based Generation of Facial Expression, Gesture and Spoken Intonation for Multiple Conversational Agents, Justine Cassell, Catherine Pelachaud, Norman Badler, Mark Steedman, Brett Achorn, Tripp Becket, Brett Douville, Scott Prevost, and Matthew Stone
  • Dynamically Sequencing an Animated Padagogical Agent, Brian A. Stone and James C. Lester
    Multiagent Coordination in Tightly Coupled Task Scheduling, Jyi-Shane Liu and Katia P. Sycara
  • Multiagent Model of Dynamic Design: Visualization as an Emergent Behavior of Active Design Agents, by Suguru Ishizaki

Chapter 3 Architectures and Infrastructure 3.1 Architectures

  • Mediators in the Architecture of Future Information Systems, Gio Wiederhold
  • An Open Agent Architecture, Philip R. Cohen, Adam Cheyer, Michelle Wang, and Soon Cheol Baeg
  • InfoSleuth: Agent-Based Semantic Integration of Information in Open and Dynamic Environments, by R. J. Bayardo Jr., W. Bohrer, R. Brice, A. Cichocki, J. Fowler, A. Helal, V. Kashyap, T. Ksiezyk, G. Martin, M. Nodine, M. Rashid, M. Rusinkiewicz, R. Shea, C. Unnikrishnan, A. Unruh, and D. Woelk
  • A Pragmatic BDI Architecture, by Klaus Fischer, Jörg P. Müller, and Markus Pischel
  • An Architecture for Action, Emotion, and Social Behavior, by Joseph Bates, A. Bryan Loyall, and W. Scott Reilly

3.2 Communications and Knowledge Sharing

  • Semantics and Conversations for an Agent Communication Language, by Yannis Labrou and Tim Finin
  • The DARPA Knowledge Sharing Effort: Progress Report, by Ramesh S. Patil, Richard E. Fikes, Peter F. Patel-Schneider, Don McKay, Tim Finin, Thomas Gruber, and Robert Neches
  • Using a Domain-Knowledge Ontology as a Semantic Gateway among Information Resources, by Michael L. Dowell, Larry M. Stephens, and Ronald D. Bonnell

3.3 Distributed Computing Aspects

  • Operating System Support for Mobile Agents, by Dag Johansen, Robbert van Renesse, and Fred B. Schneider
  • Itinerant Agents for Mobile Computing, by David Chess, Benjamin Grosof, Colin Harrison, David Levine, Colin Parris, and Gene Tsudik
  • Transportable Information Agents, by Daniela Rus, Robert Gray, and David Kotz
  • Email with a Mind of Its Own: The Safe-Tcl Language for Enabled Mail, by Nathaniel S. Borenstein
  • Credits and Debits on the Internet, by Marvin A. Sirbu
  • Distributing Trust with the Rampart Toolkit, by Michael K. Reiter

Chapter 4 Models of Agency 4.1 Rational Agency: Logical

  • Modeling Rational Agents within a BDI-Architecture, by Anand S. Rao and Michael P. Georgeff
  • Agent-Oriented Programming, by Yoav Shoham

4.2 Rational Agency: Economic

  • Designing Conventions for Automated Negotiation, by Jeffrey S. Rosenschein and Gilad Zlotkin
  • A Computational Market Model for Distributed Configuration Design, by Michael P. Wellman
  • Coordination without Communication: Experimental Validation of Focal Point Techniques, by Maier Fenster, Sarit Kraus, and Jeffrey S. Rosenschein

4.3 Social Agency

  • Social Conceptions of Knowledge and Action: DAI Foundations and Open Systems Semantics, by Les Gasser
  • DAI Betwixt and Between: From "Intelligent Agents" to Open Systems Science, by Carl Hewitt and Jeff Inman
  • A Social Reasoning Mechanism Based On Dependence Networks, by Jaime Simão Sichman, Rosaria Conte, Yves Demazeau, and Cristiano Castelfranchi
  • The Society of Objects, by Mario Tokoro
  • Formalizing the Cooperative Problem Solving Process, by Michael Wooldridge and Nicholas R. Jennings

4.4 Interactive Agency

  • Towards a Pragmatic Theory of Interactions, by Afsaneh Haddadi
  • Designing a Family of Coordination Algorithms, by Keith S. Decker and Victor R. Lesser
  • A Semantics for Speech Acts, by Munindar P. Singh
  • Understanding Cooperation: An Agent's Perspective, by Andreas Lux and Donald Steiner

4.5 Adaptive Agency

  • Learning to Coordinate Actions in Multi-Agent Systems, by Gerhard Weiss
  • Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning: Independent vs. Cooperative Agents, by Ming Tan
  • Learning Policies for Partially Observable Environments: Scaling Up, by Michael L. Littman, Anthony R. Cassandra, and Leslie Pack Kaelbling
  • Adaptive Agent Tracking in Real-World Multi-Agent Domains:A Preliminary Report, by Milind Tambe, Lewis Johnson, and Wei-Min Shen
  • Learning to Coordinate without Sharing Information, by Sandip Sen, Mahendra Sekaran, and John Hale



No. of pages:
© Morgan Kaufmann 1997
31st January 1998
Morgan Kaufmann
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Editors

Michael Huhns

Munindar Singh


"As well as featuring an extremely large and diverse collection of papers on the latest in Agent based technologies, this book has a wonderful introduction by the Editors. If you are considering, or indulging in, researching agent software then you need this book." from Glasgow, Scotland

Ratings and Reviews