intelligent enough to be considered agents, then it becomes convenient to think of them inanthropomorphic terms. For example, "the toaster knows when the toast is done," and "thecoffee pot knows when the coffee is ready." When these systems are interconnected so theycan interact, then they should also know that the coffee and toast should be ready atapproximately the same time. In these terms, your kitchen becomes more than just acollection of processors—a distributed computing system—it becomes a multiagent system.
In general, the agent in a single-agent system models itself, theenvironment, and their interactions. Of course the agent is itself part of the environment,agents are considered to have extra-environmental components as well. They are independententities with their own goals, actions, and knowledge. In a single agent system, no other suchentities are recognized by the agent. Thus, even if there are indeed other agents in the world,they are not modeled as having goals, etc.: they are just considered part of the environment.The point being emphasized is that although agents are
a part of the environment, theyare explicitly modeled as having their own goals, actions, and domain knowledge [Figure 1].