A user interface term for a unit of migratable control that is often dedicated to a specific domain or class of tasks.

Nota bene: Agents are inappropriately also another term for the Actor paradigm of programming, much as "activity" is confused with "computational process". The term "agent" is especially used for actors that are instantiated on or migrated to a remote server (then often called "mobile agents").

From Patti Maes' home page:

[..] Software Agents are semi-intelligent computer programs which assist a user with the overload of information and the complexity of the online world. Maes' group pioneered the use of machine learning to build such agents and invented a range of new algorithms such as collaborative filtering. Her team built the first successful prototypes of agents for personalized information filtering, eager assistant agents, agents that buy and sell on behalf of a user, matchmaking agents and remembrance agents.


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