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Software Agent

Definition - What does Software Agent mean?

A software agent is an piece of software that functions as an agent for a user or another program, working autonomously and continuously in a particular environment. It is inhibited by other processes and agents, but is also able to learn from its experience in functioning in an environment over a long period of time.

Techopedia explains Software Agent

Software agents offer various benefits to end users by automating repetitive tasks. The basic concepts related to software agents are:

  • They are invoked for a task
  • They reside in "wait" status on hosts
  • They do not require user interaction
  • They run status on hosts upon starting conditions
  • They invoke other tasks including communication

There are a number of different software agents, including:

  • Buyer Agents or Shopping Bots: These agents revolve around retrieving network information related to good and services.

  • User or Personal Agents: These agents perform a variety of tasks such as filling out forms, acting as opponents in games, assembling customized reports and checking email, among other tasks.

  • Monitoring and Surveillance Agents: These agents observe and report on equipment.

  • Data-Mining Agents: These agents find trends and patterns in many different sources and allow users to sort through the data to find the information they are seeking.
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