A brief introduction

“Autonomous agents are computational systems that inhabit some complex dynamic environment, sense and act autonomously in this environment, and by doing so realise a set of goals or tasks for which they are designed”
- (Pattie Maes, MIT Media Lab)

Mars RoverWith relation to the above view of agents and the picture on the right, it can be said that the Mars rover is a computational system that acts autonomously in certain situations. (Radio contact with ground control is has too high a latency for complete user control) It inhabits a complex dynamic environment (the Mars surface) from which it gathers information in order to realise a set of goals (scientific research) for which it has been designed.




"An agent is anything that can be viewed as perceiving its environment through sensors and acting upon that environment through effectors"
- (Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach by Stuart Russell and Peter Novig)

A human agent has sensory organs to get information (percepts) from the world (environment) and has muscles (effectors) to take actions in response to the percepts. Robots, the physical instantiation of agents, have got sensors like infrared range finders and cameras to gather information. In this case the effectors are the motors.


On this site we shall consider some properties of Intelligent Agents namely Rationality, Autonomy, Reactivity (Knowledge-based agents) The notion of a rational agents will be introduced and explained and we shall also consider different types of environments and agents.


Sources: (Pattie Maes, MIT Media Lab) , (Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach by Stuart Russell and Peter Novig), Reference »