This thesis consists of two parts. For each of these two parts a separate statement will be formulated.

The first part of the thesis is an inventory of agent theory, agents in practise, and the three layer model. The claim for this part is:

"Intelligent Software Agents make up a promising solution for the current (threat of an) information overkill on the Internet.
The functionality of agents can be maximally utilised when they are employed in the (future) three layer structure of the Internet.
"


The second part of the thesis will be about current, near-future and future agent developments. Questions such as "how will agents be used in the near future?", "who will be offering agents (and why)?", and "which problems/needs can be expected?" will be addressed here.
Because of the nature of this part, the second statement is a prediction:

"Agents will be a highly necessary tool in the process of information supply and demand. However, agents will not yet be able to replace skilled human information intermediaries. In the forthcoming years their role will be that of a valuable personal assistant that can support all kinds of people with their information activities."


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"Intelligent Software Agents on the Internet" - by Björn Hermans