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In various situations, mobile agents at different hosts must cooperate with one another by sharing information and making decisions collectively. To ensure effective interagent communication, communication protocols must track target agent locations and deliver messages reliably. Researchers have proposed a wide range of schemes for agent tracking and reliable message delivery. However, each scheme has its own assumptions, design goals, and methodology. As a result, no uniform or structured methods exist for characterizing current protocols, making it difficult to evaluate their relative effectiveness and performance. The authors propose a mailbox-based scheme for designing mobile agent communication protocols. This scheme assigns each agent a mailbox to buffer messages, but decouples the agent and mailbox to let them reside at different hosts and migrate separately.