Cognitive-decision-making issues for software agents

Brain and Mind 4 (2):239-252 (2003)
Abstract
Rational decision making depends on what one believes, what one desires, and what one knows. In conventional decision models, beliefs are represented by probabilities and desires are represented by utilities. Software agents are knowledgeable entities capable of managing their own set of beliefs and desires, and they can decide upon the next operation to execute autonomously. They are also interactive entities capable of filtering communications and managing dialogues. Knowledgeability includes representing knowledge about the external world, reasoning with it, and sharing it. Interactions include negotiations to perform tasks in cooperative, coordinative, and competitive ways. In this paper we focus on decision-making mechanisms for agent-based systems on the basis of agent interaction. We identify possible interaction scenarios and define mechanisms for decision making in uncertain environments. It is believed that software agents will become the underlying technology that offers the capability of distribution of competence, control, and information for the next generation of ubiquitous, distributed, and heterogeneous information systems
Keywords software agents  decision making  uncertainty and risk management
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