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Agent Oriented Information Systems In Enterprises.

Agent Oriented Information Systems In Enterprises.

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Published by jdscentral
Understanding Information.
Understanding Information.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: jdscentral on Feb 06, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 ==== ====From finances to automobiles. Get The Information You Need Here.http://infohdq.com/  ==== ====Introduction The term "agent" has been used in AI & in cognitive science as a synonym for "intelligentsystems". Over the past few years, researchers in various fields of computer science haveadopted this term as a common abstraction that subsumes several important research issues.This technology is able to capture many of our best intuitions & goals for advancing computerscience & information technology. Enterprise information systems have traditionally suffered from an impedance mismatch. Theiroperational environment is best understood in terms of agents, responsibilities, objectives, tasksand resources, while the information system itself is conceived as a collection of (software)modules, data structures and interfaces. This mismatch is one of the factors for the poor quality ofenterprise information systems, also the frequent failure of enterprise information systemdevelopment projects. In order to capture more semantics of the dynamic aspects of information systems, such as theevents & actions related to the ongoing business processes of an enterprise, it is necessaryto make an ontological distinction between active & passive entities, that is, between agents& objects. In particular, the semantics of business transactions can only be captured if thespecific business agents associated with the involved events & actions are explicitlyrepresented in the information system in addition to passive business objects. The concept of Agent-Oriented Programming (AOP) is proposed by Y. Shoham. AOP is anextension of object-oriented programming. The two main points of AOP are: The state of an object has no generic structure; while the state of an agent has a 'mentalistic'structure i.e. it consists of mental components such as beliefs & commitments. Messages in OOP are coded in an application-specific ad-hoc manner, while a message in AOP iscoded as a 'speech act' according to a standard agent communication language that is applicationindependent. The intuition underlying AOP have an ever greater potential for information systems engineeringthan for general software engineering. Current information system concepts & technologies are largely based on the Entity-Relationship (ER) meta-model & the Relational Database (RDB) model. Concepts &techniques from OOP are now increasingly applied in the area of information systems. In theformer, everything is viewed as an object, from GUI push buttons to entire server programs.
 Current information system technologies do not support the concept of an agent. The customer ofan enterprise are not explicitly represented & treated as agents but rather as objects in thesame way as items or bank accounts. Agents The agent metaphor subsumes both natural & artificial systems. A formal agent concept forthe purpose of representing agents in information systems may abstract away from many of thehigher-level cognitive aspects of agents. It only needs to capture those aspects that are relevantfor tracking & evaluating the events and interactions of interest.In an enterprise information system, for instance, only events and interactions associated withbusiness processes are of interest. There are several approaches to defining agents, only two of them being relevant for ourpurposes: 1.The software engineering approach emphasizes the significance of application independencehigh-level agent-to-agent communication as a basis for general software interoperability. 2.The mentalistic approach, based on the knowledge representation paradigm of AI, points outthat the state of an agent consists of mental components such as beliefs, perceptions, memory,commitments, expectations, goals & intentions. In an agent-oriented organizational IS, on conceptual grounds, we have to distinguish betweeninternal agents & external agents. In the case of an agent-oriented enterprise IS, example ofsubagents is sales persons & examples of external agents are customers. What is an Agent-Oriented Information System? In an agent-oriented information system (AOIS), the concept of an agent may occur in threedifferent, but not unrelated, ways: 1.Extended IS functionality by means of agent-based software technologies 2.The 'agentification' of information systems 3.The explicit representation of agents in an IS Information Systems & Agent-Based Software TechnologiesExtended IS functionality, such as adaptive user interfaces or cooperation support services, maybe realized by means of agent-based software technologies. The extension of traditionalinformation systems by a whole set of new agent-based functions for supporting interoperation,group collaboration & change management is the main concern of the cooperativeinformation systems. Information Systems as Agents 
The 'agentification' of an information system by adding further state components & byimplementing support of an agent communication language enables it to cooperate with otheragentified information systems & to participate in automated business processes. Intelligent agents continuously perform three functions: 1.'Perception of dynamic conditions in the environment'It refers to incoming messages representing communication events (such as receiving a requestfor a sales quotation or an acknowledgement of a sales order) and environment events (such asreceiving a payments). 2.'Action to affect conditions in the environment'It refers to communication acts of the AOIS (such as acknowledging a sales order) and to physicalacts (such as delivering goods or making a payment). 3.'Reasoning to interpret perceptions, solve problems, draw inferences, and determine actions'It refers to things like the proper processing of incoming messages, the computational inference ofcorrect answers to queries, and the determination of proper actions (such as locking all salesorders of a customer whose credibility is in question or issuing as alert when the fulfillment of acommitment is overdue). An information system may be explicitly designed as an agent by: 1.treating its information items as its beliefs or knowledge 2.adding further mental components such as perceptions (in form of incoming messages),memory, & commitments. 3.providing support for agent-to-agent communication on the basis of a standard agentcommunication language. In automated business-to-business communication, prices & contracts may be negotiated byagent-oriented enterprise information systems without human intervention. In this case, an IS actsas an agent of the enterprise it belongs to. For this, it needs to have information about the marketit has to act in, and about its potential business partners, and it needs to fulfill its commitmentsfrom previous business transactions. That is, in addition to representing facts about objects &other agents, an agentified IS needs to maintain & process commitments. In order to agentify an information system, its schema has to be partitioned: in addition to thetables representing the current state of affairs that form its belief, special tables are needed forrepresenting its memory (about past events & actions) and its commitments and claims. Forquerying the perception state by processing incoming messages a built-in data structure (such asan event queue) has to be added. Finally, the reaction patterns representing the reactive &communicative behaviors of the information system have to be specified, by means of reactionrules. Depending on a triggering event type & possible on a mental condition (involvingbeliefs, memory, commitments and claims), a reaction pattern specifies an action & anassociated mental effect that may lead to updates of belief, commitment & claim tables. Inthis way, an information system turns into a knowledge-perception-memory-commitment (KPMC)

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