Agents Modeling Agents in Information Economies

José M. Vidal, Edmund H. Durfee

Our goal is to design and build agents that act intelligently when placed in an agent-based information economy, where agents buy and sell services (e.g. thesaurus, search, task planning services, etc.). The economy we are working in is the University of Michigan Digital Library (UMDL), a large scale multidisciplinary effort to build an infrastructure for the delivery of library services [2]. In contrast with a typical economy, an information economy deals in goods and services that are often derived from unique sources (authors, analysts, etc.), so that many goods and services are not interchangeable. Also, the cost of replicating and transporting goods is usually negligible, and the quality of goods and services is difficult to measure objectively: even two sources with essentially the same information might appeal to different audiences. Thus, each agent has its own assessment of the quality of goods and services delivered.

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