In trying to raise awareness and to promote take-up of agent technology, there is a need to inform the various audiences of the current state-of-the-art and to postulate the likely future directions the technology and the field will take. This is needed if commercial organisations are to invest in the technology and its deployment,and also for policy makers to target areas of particular importance. More broadly, presenting a coherent vision of the development of the field, its application areas and likely barriers to adoption of the technology is important for all stakeholders.

In AgentLink II an initial technology roadmap was developed for exactly this purpose, and achieved much acclaim. However, the pervasive nature of agent technology across many areas of IST suggests that a more intense and engaging effort to continue and augment this work is needed for AgentLink III. In particular, the pace of technology development and its crucial role in supporting visions of Ambient Intelligence, the Semantic Web and Grid Computing, for example, demands that these efforts be continued with a sustained programme of consultation and roadmap revision. The roadmap is a living document. Its value relies on contribution from the community, which will assess the AgentLink II roadmap against the AgentLink III period, and engage in correction and refinement.

The broad nature of the AgentLink community combining both academic researchers and industrial development teams means that it is possible to maintaining a close watch on market and technology trends. Therefore, as with the AgentLink II Roadmap, consultation with the community and dissemination of a draft version of the Roadmap will play an important role in development, validation and refinement of the Roadmaps content.



AgentLink is the European Commission's IST-funded Coordination Action for Agent-Based Computing
and is coordinated by the
University of Liverpool and University of Southampton
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