A trading agent is like a robot, but instead of interacting with a physical environment, it interacts with an information environment. Its task is to procure goods and services for a user. It must be able to be told the needs of a user, and it must interact with sellers (e.g., on the Web). The simplest trading agent involves proxy bidding for a user on an auction site, where the system will keep bidding until the user’s price limit is reached. A more complicated trading agent will buy multiple complementary items, like booking a flight, a hotel, and a rental car that fit together, in addition to trading off competing preferences. Another example of a trading agent is one that monitors how much food and groceries are in a household, monitors the prices, and orders goods before they are needed, keeping costs to a minimum.Jessica
Hierarchical decomposition is essential because of the complexity of domains. Consider the problem of making all of the arrangements and purchases for a custom holiday for a traveler. It is simpler to have a module that can purchase a ticket and optimize connections and timing, rather than to do this at the same time as determining what doors to go through to get to the taxi stand.Jamarion
The state space of the trading agent is too large to reason in terms of individual states. There are also too many individuals to reason in terms of features. The trading agent will have to reason in terms of individuals such as customers, days, hotels, flights, and so on.Marisa
A trading agent typically does not make just one purchase, but must make a sequence of purchases, often a large number of sequential decisions (e.g., purchasing one hotel room may require booking ground transportation, which may in turn require baggage storage), and often plans for ongoing purchasing, such as for an agent that makes sure a household has enough food on hand at all times.ropingvacation
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