“Technology of Mobile Agent In Software Agent: a Case Study of Future Distributed Computing” |
This paper will lead you into the world of mobile agents,an emerging technology that makes it very much easier to design, implement, andmaintain distributed systems. You will find that mobile agents reduce thenetwork traffic, provide an effective means of overcoming network latency, andperhaps most importantly, through their ability to operate asynchronously andautonomously of the process that created them, helps you to construct morerobust and fault-tolerant. Read on and let us introduce you to software agents- the mobile as well as the stationary ones. We will explain all the benefitsof mobile agents and demonstrate the impact they have on the design ofdistributed systems before concluding this paper with a brief overview of somecontemporary mobile agent systems. In this paper, we discuss the potential uses of mobileagents in Network Management. We define software agents and a navigation model,which determines agent mobility. We list a number of potential advantages anddisadvantages of mobile agents. We include a short commentary on the ongoingstandardization activity. The core of the paper comprises descriptions ofseveral actual and potential applications of mobile agents in the five OSIfunctional areas of Network Management. Over the last couple of years we have been working on thedevelopment of mobile agents systems and its application to the areas oftelecommunications and network management. This work path produced positiveresults: a competitive mobile agent platform was built, the run-time benefitsof mobile agents were proved, and our industrial partners have developedpractical applications that are being integrated into commercial products. However, despite the positive results, we feel thatmobile agent technology is still not ready to enter the path of mainstreamsoftware development. In our perspective, one of the main reasons for thissituation arises from the traditional approach to mobile agent technology. Thisapproach, based on the familiar concept of the mobile agent distributedplatform as an extension of the operating system, focuses too much on themobile agents and associated issues (mobility, agent lifecycle, security,coordination, etc.) and provides poor support for the development ofapplications where mobile agents are just one of several availabletechnologies. Learning from past experience, we are now working on anew approach where the focus is brought back to the applications and mobileagents become just one the tools available to develop distributed systems. Thisprovides a much lighter framework for application-based mobile agent systems.