Computational Media for Mobile Agents

In the Fall of 1996 I wrote a paper about mobile agents for Pattie Maes' software agents seminar. I'm interested in complex systems phenomena; mobile agents present a good domain for those ideas. My excuse for writing about mobile agents was the old idea of harvesting spare CPU cycles on the net. I haven't followed up on that application because I'm really not sure there would ever be a market for such an ungainly computational service. For some thoughts on this, take a look at the OCEAN web pages.

The paper is more of an evaluation of technology than deep research, and as such the information here will go stale very quickly. For instance, interesting things have happened at General Magic since I wrote the paper. There's a more up-to-date article (July 97) comparing Java mobile agent systems titled "A Hands-On Look at Java Mobile Agents" by Joseph Kiniry and Daniel Zimmerman. It can be found in the July/August issue of IEEE Internet Computing.

Loosely coordinated distributed computation and mobile agents are a very active area for me. Please contact me if you have any thoughts about what I have written here. The ideas in the paper I'm most interested in pursuing include economic control of computations, security issues of mobile agents (in particular, protecting agents from hostile servers), and thinking more about what an Internet full of mobile agents would be like.


Choose your format Please contact me if you wish to reference this paper.

Nelson Minar <>
Last modified: Tue Aug 26 23:27:57 EDT 1997