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2. Overview of later sections

Section 3: Computation and economic order. Basic characteristics of human markets illuminate the expected nature of computational markets. This section describes some of these characteristics and sketches some of the special issues raised in the context of computation.

Section 4: Foundations. The foundations needed for agoric open systems may be summarized as support for the encapsulation and communication of information, access, and resources. This section describes these foundations and their role in computational markets.

Section 5: Agents and strategies. The foundations of computational markets handle neither resource management (such as processor scheduling and garbage collection) nor market transactions. This section describes the idea of business agents and their use both in replacing centralized resource-allocation algorithms (discussed further by [III]) and in managing complex market behavior.

Section 6: Agoric systems in the large. Large, evolved agoric systems are expected to have valuable emergent properties. This section describes how they can provide a more productive software market in human society-opening major new business opportunities-and how they can further the goal of artificial intelligence.

Section 7: The absence of agoric systems. If market-based computation is a good idea, why has it not yet been developed? This section attempts to show why the current absence of agoric systems is consistent with their being a good idea.

Appendix I: Issues, levels, and scale. Agoric open systems will be large and complex, spanning many levels of scale and complexity. This section surveys how issues such as security, reasoning, and trust manifest themselves at different levels of agoric systems.

Appendix II: Comparison with other systems. Here are reviewed works ranging from those that draw analogies between human society and computational systems to those that explore adaptive computation from an economic point of view.

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Last updated: 21 June 2001

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