The increasing number and growing complexity of distributed systems in current dynamic business environments requires more sophisticated methods and technologies to tackle the related emerging issues and requirements. Software agents, an AI-based technology, has demonstrated its potential in dealing with uncoordinated heterogeneous distributed systems. Service-oriented computing, which has evolved and learned lessons from Internet and distributed object technologies, has attracted significant interest from industry and academia for the development of distributed enterprise systems. This chapter gives an overview of the characteristics of agents and services and the relationships between them by analysing their modelling methods, supporting specifications, and platforms for system development. We argue that although the focus of these two technologies is diverse, they have great potential to complement each other to advance distributed applications. In this chapter we also introduce the remaining chapters of this book.
KeywordsMultiagent System Service Composition Service Discovery Service Selection Software Agent
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We would like express our gratitude to Shah Nazaraf for his input.
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