Agent-Oriented Software Engineering

Agent-oriented techniques represent an exciting new means of analysing, designing and building complex software systems. They have the potential to significantly improve current practice in software
engineering and to extend the range of applications that can feasibly be tackled. Yet, to date, there have been few serious attempts to cast agent systems as a software engineering paradigm. This paper seeks to rectify this omission. Specifically, it will be argued that: (i) the conceptual apparatus of agent-oriented
systems is well-suited to building software solutions for complex systems and (ii) agent-oriented approaches represent a genuine advance over the current state of the art for engineering complex systems. Following on from this view, the major issues raised by adopting an agent-oriented approach to software engineering are highlighted and discussed.