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Engineering mobile-agent applications via context-dependent coordination

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3 Author(s)
G. Cabri ; Dipt. de Sci. dell'Ingegneria, Univ. di Modena e Reggiio Emilia, Modena, Italy ; L. Leonardi ; F. Zambenelli

Mobility introduces peculiar coordination problems in agent-based Internet applications. First, it suggests the exploitation of an infrastructure based on a multiplicity of local interaction spaces. Second, it may require coordination activities to be adapted both to the characteristics of the execution environment where they occur and to the needs of the application to which the coordinating agents belong. This paper introduces the concept of context-dependent coordination based on programmable interaction spaces. On the one hand, interaction spaces associated to different execution environments may be independently programmed so as to lead to differentiated, environment-dependent, behaviors. On the other hand, agents can program the interaction spaces of the visited execution environments to obtain an application-dependent behavior of the interaction spaces themselves. Several examples show how an infrastructure for context-dependent coordination can be exploited to simplify the design of Internet applications based on mobile agents. In addition, the MARS coordination infrastructure is presented as an example of a system in which the concept of context-dependent coordination has found a clean and efficient implementation.

Published in:

Software Engineering, 2001. ICSE 2001. Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on

Date of Conference:

12-19 May 2001