Automata have existed for centuries, it is only recently that anything resembling autonomous agents has begun to appear. The agents now being deployed differ in important ways from earlier concepts, for today the momentum has shifted from hardware to software, from the atoms that comprise a mechanical robot to the bits that make up a digital agent. These software agents function continuously and autonomously in a particular environment that is often inhabited by other agents and processes. The essays in this book, by leading researchers and developers of agent-based systems, address both the state-of-the-art of agent technology and its likely evolution in the near future. Table Of Contents: Contents: Preface. 1. Introduction. Section One: Agents and the User Experience??\”2. How Might People Interact with Agents. 3. Agents: From Direct Manipulation to Delegation. 4. Interface Agents: Metaphors with Character. 5. Designing Agents as if People Mattered. 6. Direct Manipulation Versus Agents: Paths to Predictable, Controllable, and Comprehensible Interfaces. Section Two: Agents for Learning and Intelligent Assistance??\”7. Agents for Information Sharing and Coordination: A History and Some Reflections. 8. Agents that Reduce Work and Information Overload. 9. KidSim: Programming Agents without a Programming Language. 10. Lifelike Computer Characters: The Persona Project at Microsoft Research. 11. Software Agents for Cooperative Learning. 12. M: An Architecture of Integrated Agents. Section Three: Agent Communication, Collaboration, and Mobility??\”13. An Overview of Agent-Oriented Programming. 14. KQML as an Agent Communication Language. 15. An Agent-Based Framework for Interoperability. 16. Agents for Information Gathering. 17. KAoS: Toward an Industrial-Strength Open Agent Architecture. 18. Communicative Actions for Artificial Agents. 19. Mobile Agents. Index.