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Two of the fundamental issues in designing protocols for message passing between mobile agents (MAs) are tracking the migration of the target agent and forwarding messages to it. Even with an ideal fault-free network-transport mechanism, messages can be dropped during MA migration. Therefore, in order to provide reliable message delivery, protocols need to overcome message loss caused by asynchronous operations of agent migration and message forwarding. In this paper, two known message forwarding approaches, namely push and pull, are explored to design adaptive and reliable message delivery protocols. Based on a commonly used MA tracking model, the pros and cons of these two approaches are evaluated, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The comparative performance evaluation is presented in terms of network traffic and delay in message processing. We also propose improvements to the pull approach to reduce network traffic and the message delay. We conclude that with different message passing and migration patterns and varying requirements of real-time message processing, specific applications can select different message delivery approaches to achieve the desired level of performance and flexibility.
Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part A: Systems and Humans, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:34 , Issue: 5 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 2004