The current two layer structure of the Internet (one layer for the demand side/users, and one layer for the supply side/suppliers) is getting more and more dissatisfactory. For tasks, such as an information search, tools like search engines have been created to circumvent many of the problems (and inefficiencies) that arise from this structure. However, search engines will only do as a short-term compromise. In the medium and long term, they will become increasingly insufficient and incapable to deal with future user and supplier needs and demands.
A very promising solution for the whole situation is to add a third, intermediary layer to the structure of the Internet. This will enhance and improve the functionality of the Internet in many ways.
The three layer model is a very powerful and versatile application for the agent-technique; although individual agents can offer many things, they can offer and do so much more when employed/combined in this way. However, before we can really use the model, quite some things will need to be settled, decided and developed: a number of standards, a solid (universal) agent communication language, etcetera.
|previous page||next page||to the chapter's TOC||to the main TOC|