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

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Chapter 4

Mobile Agent Coordination

GIACOMO CABRI and RAFFAELE QUITADAMO

University of Modena, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy

In this chapter, we will discuss mobile agent coordination, starting with some general considerations about coordination and mobility. By means of a case study, we compare some coordination models and point out that fully uncoupled models better suit dynamic scenarios such as those involving mobility. Therefore, we then focus mainly on uncoupled coordination models (Linda-like models), surveying some proposed coordination systems in the literature and evaluating them with regard to some chosen classification criteria. Finally, the chapter proposes an innovative approach to mobile agent coordination which exploits the powerful concept of roles in multiagent systems.

4.1 INTRODUCTION

In the early days of software agent research, much attention was focused on the development of efficient and easy-to-use agent platforms or systems. Although this has positively contributed to the maturation of this technology, it seemed clear that a step forward was demanded. Design methodologies and coordination patterns were needed in order to enable a larger number of industrial applications using agent technologies [1].

Designing complex applications with software agents implies decomposing the main activity goal into activities (or subgoals) which together will achieve the original goal [2]. Decomposition produces dependencies among the participant agents who should be able ...

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