The growing complexity and dynamics of the Web have enforced the development and use of ever more intelligent and powerful tools able to look for knowledge rather than simply information on the Web. One intended technique to solve this issue is the Semantic Web. The main aim of this book is to show that a fruitful contribution to the implementation of the Semantic Web can be the application of results of the long existing research of autonomous intelligent agents. The agents must be able to work in the framework of the successful software engineering concept of the Web and Web services. It implies the agents must be able to use related XML–based languages. The book describes ontologies as the central concept of the Semantic Web and discusses the basic properties of the languages for the specification of ontologies as a knowledge description tool on the Web (the RDF and OWL family of web ontology languages).
Several chapters are devoted to various concepts of intelligent agents and their behaviour (reactive agents and several models of planning agents and of deductive and reasoning agents). The remaining chapters (Reasoning on the Web, Agent Communication and Semantic Web service) are devoted to methods that can be used in the implementation of agents as Web services. A majority of chapters contain exercises, which are often supported by sources available on the Web, and suggested reading lists. The book covers a broad collection of topics on agency and on software engineering of the Web. The book presents more than ten languages and several logics. The explanation is intuitive using instructive examples. It usually presents only the main ideas and attitudes. Almost no practical experience with discussed visions, concepts and tools is mentioned.