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Mobile Agents in Networking and Distributed Computing by Sajal K. Das, Jiannong Cao

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Chapter 1

Mobile Agents and Applications in Networking and Distributed Computing

JIANNONG CAO

Department of Computing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

SAJAL K. DAS

Department of Computer Science and Engineering, The University of Texas at Arlington, USA

1.1 INTRODUCTION

Agent technology has evolved from two research areas: artificial intelligence and distributed computing. The purpose of AI research is to use intelligent computing entities to simplify human operations. An agent is just a computer program targeting that purpose [1]. Distributed computing, on the other hand, allows a complex task to be better executed by cooperation of several distributed agents on interconnected computers. So, networking and distribution bring out the true flavor of software agent technology in terms of agent autonomy, coordination, reactivity, heterogeneity, brokerage, and mobility.

Mobile agents refer to self-contained and identifiable computer programs that can move over the network and act on behalf of the user or another entity [2]. They can execute at a host for a while before halting the execution and migrating to another host and resuming execution there. They are able to detect the environment and adapt dynamically to changes. Mobile agents are widely used for handling disconnected operations in distributed, mobile, and wireless networking environments [3–6]. Also, many applications, including network diagnostic, e-commerce, entertainment and broadcasting, intrusion detection, and home ...

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