chapter  3
39 Pages

Building Agents out of Autonomous Behavior Systems

WithLuc Steels

This chapter sets out the main principles and hypotheses that have been driving the intelligent autonomous agents research in Brussels laboratory since 1986. The subject matter of the research is intelligent autonomous agents. Autonomous agents are self controlling as opposed to being under the control of an outside agent. The chapter describes the meaning of the terms agent, autonomy, and intelligence. It focuses on methodological issues and discusses the kind of theories being looked for, the approach, and the nature of the experimental settings. The chapter presents the major hypotheses and provides some concrete examples. It argues that the process networks defining the dynamics show recurring patterns; one of the most powerful ones is the pattern; of emergent functionality. The chapter also argues that selectionist mechanisms play a very large role in the formation of new behavior systems.