Defining the Challenges for Communicating Information Using Multiple Agents on the WWW

M Devlin, TM Scott, Maurice Mulvenna

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Due to the increase in WWW (World Wide Web) documents and services, the user community is becoming increasingly frustrated at poor response times, ambiguous search methods and the sheer density of information that complicates their information retrieval goals. Software agent technology is emerging as a potential solution to these problems. Agents can communicate information across multiple platforms enabling users to delegate tasks such as information retrieval without supervision. Primarily for agents to have effective utility in the WWW environment they must be able to communicate with other agents of different origin making the web a multi-agent information system.This paper introduces the concepts of multi-agent information systems and agent communication. It defines some of the fundamental problems that the WWW presents for agents and outlines the areas that pose a challenge to those who wish to deploy them. Barriers to communication are identified including variations in characteristics, language and ontology. The paper then discusses the broader aspects of agent communication difficulties that are posed by web architecture, goal specification problems and the nature of web pages themselves. Finally recommendations are made including a proposed formalisation of agent theory to lessen user workloads.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)0-07-709558-8
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 4 Feb 1999
EventUK Academy for Information Systems Annual Conference (UKAIS-99) - University of York
Duration: 4 Feb 1999 → …


ConferenceUK Academy for Information Systems Annual Conference (UKAIS-99)
Period4/02/99 → …


  • Agent Computing


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