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Agent-based cloud computing is concerned with the design and development of software agents for bolstering cloud service discovery, service negotiation, and service composition. The significance of this work is introducing an agent-based paradigm for constructing software tools and testbeds for cloud resource management. The novel contributions of this work include: 1) developing Cloudle: an agent-based search engine for cloud service discovery, 2) showing that agent-based negotiation mechanisms can be effectively adopted for bolstering cloud service negotiation and cloud commerce, and 3) showing that agent-based cooperative problem-solving techniques can be effectively adopted for automating cloud service composition. Cloudle consists of 1) a service discovery agent that consults a cloud ontology for determining the similarities between providers' service specifications and consumers' service requirements, and 2) multiple cloud crawlers for building its database of services. Cloudle supports three types of reasoning: similarity reasoning, compatibility reasoning, and numerical reasoning. To support cloud commerce, this work devised a complex cloud negotiation mechanism that supports parallel negotiation activities in interrelated markets: a cloud service market between consumer agents and broker agents, and multiple cloud resource markets between broker agents and provider agents. Empirical results show that using the complex cloud negotiation mechanism, agents achieved high utilities and high success rates in negotiating for cloud resources. To automate cloud service composition, agents in this work adopt a focused selection contract net protocol (FSCNP) for dynamically selecting cloud services and use service capability tables (SCTs) to record the list of cloud agents and their services. Empirical results show that using FSCNP and SCTs, agents can successfully compose cloud services by autonomously selecting services.
Date of Publication: Fourth Quarter 2012