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<p>Agent-based systems simplify user access to the many global virtual enterprises now arriving on the World Wide Web. After discussing the role supply and demand agents play in these developments,this article summarizes useful AI information resources they make available.</p> <p>With each passing month, A number of new global virtual enterprises emerges on the World Wide Web. Relying on existing and rapidly developing commercial structures, they offer access to a wide range of information and services-from fashions to computer suppliers. Such virtual enterprises are built on a global information infrastructure, which relies upon the many new information resources on the WWW.</p> <p>Many potential users, however, have not kept pace with this explosion of passive on-line information resources. Users are only slowly becoming aware of these databases-indeed, many are barely aware of the very existence of data on the WWW. Then, once they do become aware of these resources, most users need time, training, and upgraded equipment before they can take full advantage of them.</p> <p>Web-available information sources provide heterogenous databases that can require expertise to use. In addition, the quantity of information sources has been growing exponentially, so that it is no longer feasible to be completely aware of all the universe of information sources. Accordingly, intelligent agent-based systems, employing intelligent and autonomous problem-solving agents, can greatly facilitate user access to these databases. These agents are computational processes that offer methods for achieving specific goals. Most current discussion of agent-based systems, however, revolves around their role in satisfying user demands for information. In such information-gathering problems, an agent takes on the task of gathering information to meet a variety of user needs.</p> <p>A better, more comprehensive framework would include both demand and supply agents. After first exploring strategies employed in designing and implementing both of these kinds of intelligent agents, we show how they can provide access to valuable AI information on the WWW.</p>

A. Sangster, D. E. O?Leary, C. Brown and L. Gasser, "AI on the WWW : Supply and Demand Agents," in IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 10, no. , pp. 50-55, 1995.
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