Distributed software systems are becoming evermore prevalent, and we increasingly desire them to operate in heterogeneous, dynamic, and open environments. Service-oriented computing (SOC) has emerged over recent years as a successful approach for building and maintaining such systems. However, as the environments in which we require systems to operate become more complex, we require software components to have increasing degrees of flexibility, autonomy, and intelligence. Agent-based systems naturally complement SOC by offering the intelligence and reasoning capabilities that are needed.
The integration of agents and SOC is a broad and active research area. This book is a collection of chapters from experts in the field, that gives an overview of the state-of-the-art in the main areas of current research, and identifies likely future directions. Researchers, students and practitioners will find this book a useful insight into the current state-of-the-art. The book also includes a general introduction the basic notions of SOC for readers who are unfamiliar with the approach.