Tech Reports


Technology Diffusion: the Case of Agent Technologies

Jez McKean, Hayden Shorter, Michael Luck, Peter McBurney and Steven Willmott


Despite several examples of deployed agent systems, there remain barriers to the large-scale adoption of agent technologies. In order to understand these barriers, this paper considers aspects of marketing theory which deal with diffusion of innovations and their relevance to the agents domain and the current state of diffusion of agent technologies. In particular, the paper examines the role of standards in the adoption of new technologies, describes the agent standards landscape, and compares the development and diffusion of agent technologies with that of object-oriented programming. The paper also reports on a simulation model developed in order to consider different trajectories for the adoption of agent technologies, with trajectories based on various assumptions regarding industry structure and the existence of competing technology standards. We present details of the simulation model and its assumptions, along with the results of the simulation exercises.

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