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The study of multi-agent systems or MAS focuses on systems in which many intelligent agents interact with each other. These agents are considered to be autonomous entities such as software programs or robots.
Their interactions can either be co-operative (for example as in an ant colony) or selfish (as in a free market economy).
This book assumes only basic knowledge of algorithms and discrete maths, both of which are taught as standard in the first or second year of computer science degree programmes. A basic knowledge of artificial intelligence would useful to help understand some of the issues, but is not essential.
The book?s main aims are:
* To introduce the student to the concept of agents and multi-agent systems, and the main applications for which they are appropriate
* To introduce the main issues surrounding the design of intelligent agents
* To introduce the main issues surrounding the design of a multi-agent society
* To introduce a number of typical applications for agent technology
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