336 страниц. 2011 год. LAP Lambert Academic Publishing Traditional software engineering approaches and metaphors fall short when applied to areas of growing relevance such as electronic commerce, enterprise resource planning, and mobile computing: such areas, in fact, generally call for open architectures that may evolve dynamically over time so as to accommodate new components and meet new requirements. This is probably one of the main reasons that the agent metaphor and the agent-oriented paradigm are gaining momentum in these areas. This thesis deals with the engineering of complex software systems in terms of the agent paradigm, focussing on the study of agent-oriented methodologies with particular regard to the methodologies'' meta-models and processes, the environment and the representation complexity. The research in these fields has lead to the formulation of a new version of the SODA methodology where environment abstractions and layering principles are exploited for engineering multi-agent systems.