Chapter 23: Software Agents for Data Management

David MattoxKenneth SmithLen Seligman

THE STUDY OF AGENTS IS THE STUDY OF AUTONOMY. To be more precise, it is the study of how to implement autonomous software systems that can independently navigate and analyze the vast array of online data sources in order to produce the information required by a user.

Agents are autonomous software entities that use existing data management systems in order to perform tasks on behalf of a user. Because of their autonomy, agents are able to provide a level of abstraction between the high-level information goals of users and the concrete realities of data management systems.

However, agents are not data management systems. The task of efficiently storing and retrieving ...

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