Part II: What is an Agent? — Definitions and Taxonomies

Intelligent Agents III Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages

Volume 1193 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 21-35

Date:

Is It an agent, or just a program?: A taxonomy for autonomous agents

  • Stan FranklinAffiliated withInstitute for Intelligent Systems, University of Memphis
  • , Art GraesserAffiliated withInstitute for Intelligent Systems, University of Memphis

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Abstract

The advent of software agents gave rise to much discussion of just what such an agent is, and of how they differ from programs in general. Here we propose a formal definition of an autonomous agent which clearly distinguishes a software agent from just any program. We also offer the beginnings of a natural kinds taxonomy of autonomous agents, and discuss possibilities for further classification. Finally, we discuss subagents and multiagent systems.