Dynamic-Agents, Workflow and XML for E-Commerce Automation
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Agent technologies are now being considered for automating tasks in e-commerce applications. However, conventional software agents with predefined functions, but without the ability to modify behavior dynamically, may be too limited for mediating E-Commerce applications properly, since they cannot switch roles or adjust their behavior to participate in dynamically formed partnerships. We have developed a Java-based dynamic agent infrastructure for E-Commerce automation, which supports dynamic behavior modification of agents, a significant difference from other agent platforms. Supported by dynamic agents, mechanisms have been developed for plugging in workflow and multi-agent cooperation, and for dynamic service provisioning, allowing services to be constructed on the fly. We treat an agent as a Web object with an associated URL, which makes it possible to monitor and interact with the agent remotely via any Web browser. XML is chosen as our agent communication message format. Dynamic agents can carry, switch and exchange domain-specific XML interpreters. In this way, the cooperation of dynamic agents supports plug-and-play commerce, mediating businesses that are built on one another’s services. A prototype has been developed at HP Labs.
KeywordsBusiness Process Agent Cooperation Java Classis Agent Platform Dynamic Agent
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