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Design and evaluation of a fault-tolerant mobile-agent system

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3 Author(s)
Lyu, M.R. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong, China ; Xinyu Chen ; Tsz Yeung Wong

The mobile agents create a new paradigm for data exchange and resource sharing in rapidly growing and continually changing computer networks. In a distributed system, failures can occur in any software or hardware component. A mobile agent can get lost when its hosting server crashes during execution, or it can get dropped in a congested network. Therefore, survivability and fault tolerance are vital issues for deploying mobile-agent systems. This fault tolerance approach deploys three kinds of cooperating agents to detect server and agent failures and recover services in mobile-agent systems. An actual agent is a common mobile agent that performs specific computations for its owner. Witness agents monitor the actual agent and detect whether it's lost. A probe recovers the failed actual agent and the witness agents. A peer-to-peer message-passing mechanism stands between each actual agent and its witness agents to perform failure detection and recovery through time-bounded information exchange; a log records the actual agent's actions. When failures occur, the system performs rollback recovery to abort uncommitted actions. Moreover, our method uses checkpointed data to recover the lost actual agent.

Published in:

Intelligent Systems, IEEE  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 5 )