Intelligent Agents and Multi-agent Systems

In artificial intelligence, an intelligent agent (IA) is an autonomous entity which observes through sensors and acts upon an environment using actuators (i.e. it is an agent) and directs its activity towards achieving goals. Intelligent agents may also learn or use knowledge to achieve their goals. They may be very simple or very complex: a reflex machine such as a thermostat is considered an example of an intelligent agent. Intelligent agents are often described schematically as an abstract functional system similar to a computer program. For this reason, intelligent agents are sometimes called abstract intelligent agents to distinguish them from their real world implementations as computer systems, biological systems, or organizations. Some definitions of intelligent agents emphasize their autonomy, and so prefer the term autonomous intelligent agents.

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