Agents Unleashed

Agents Unleashed

A Public Domain Look at Agent Technology

1st Edition - March 20, 1995

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  • Author: Peter Wayner
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483214368

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Description

Agents Unleashed: A Public Domain Look at Agent Technology covers details of building a secure agent realm. The book discusses the technology for creating seamlessly integrated networks that allow programs to move from machine to machine without leaving a trail of havoc; as well as the technical details of how an agent will move through the network, prove its identity, and execute its code without endangering the host. The text also describes the organization of the host's work processing an agent; error messages, bad agent expulsion, and errors in XLISP-agents; and the simulators of errors, functions, and resources. Agent language, XLISP, TCL and other languages are also considered. The book further tackles security and encryption; commercial cash; and some ambitious and extreme examples of how people are attempting to create agents. The text also encompasses the instructions on how to use the XLISP agents. Software agents will find the book invaluable.

Table of Contents


  • Preface

    Book Notes

    1 Off the Coast of Cannes

    2 Why Agents

    2.1 What Is an Agent

    2.2 Why Agents

    2.3 The Underlying Technology

    2.4 The Goal of this Book

    2.5 How To Read this Book

    3 A Basic Agent

    3.1 A LISP Agent

    3.2 An Airline System

    3.3 Summary

    4 A Basic Host

    4.1 The Execution Unit

    4.1.1 Host Personality Files

    4.2 Optional Host Features

    4.3 A Sample Host

    4.3.1 The Raw Database

    4.3.2 Access Functions

    4.3.3 Making Reservations

    4.3.4 Setting Up Local Security

    4.4 Summary

    5 Errors

    5.1 Error Messages

    5.1.1 Programming Errors

    5.1.2 Overreaching Errors

    5.1.3 Undeliverable Errors

    5.1.4 Local Errors

    5.2 Bad Agent Expulsion

    5.3 Errors in XLISP-Agents

    5.4 Summary

    6 Going Out

    7 Local Personalities

    7.1 Function Simulators

    7.2 Error Simulators

    7.3 Resource Simulators

    8 Resources

    8.1 Paying the Piper

    8.2 Negotiation

    8.3 Host Code Details

    8.4 Agent Code Details

    8.5 Summary

    9 Agent Language

    9.1 Design Goals

    9.2 Memory Management

    9.3 Dynamic Binding

    9.4 Goodbye Pointers

    9.5 Soft Crash Landings

    9.6 Type Checking and Polymorphism

    9.7 Why Interpret the Language

    9.8 Summary

    10 XLISP

    10.1 Interpret or Compile

    10.2 What is LISP

    10.3 Modifying XLISP

    10.4 Using Evalhook and Applyhook

    10.5 Watching the Clock

    10.6 Watching for Trouble

    10.6.1 Protecting Variables

    10.6.2 Protected Functions

    10.6.3 Forbidden Function Calls

    10.6.4 Going Faster

    10.6.5 Packages

    10.7 Summary

    11 TCL

    11.1 TCL: The language

    11.1.1 Basic Structure

    11.1.2 Variables

    11.2 String Manipulation

    11.3 Arithmetic

    11.4 Lists

    11.5 Control Structure

    11.5.1 EVALs

    11.6 Procedures

    11.6.1 Global and Local Storage

    11.7 Summary

    12 Safe-TCL

    12.1 MIME Time

    12.2 Deconstructing TCL

    12.3 Two Interpreters

    12.4 In with the New

    12.5 Safe-TCL Extensions

    12.5.1 Tearing Apart Mail

    12.6 User Interaction

    12.7 Safe-Tk

    12.8 Plugging More Holes

    12.9 Summary

    13 Other Languages

    13.1 Telescript

    13.1.1 The Basic Architecture

    13.2 Python

    13.2.1 Sample Code

    13.3 Smalltalk

    13.4 Nextstep, DSOM and Object Systems

    13.5 Summary

    14 Security and Encryption

    14.1 The Basics of Cryptography

    14.2 DES and IDEA

    14.2.1 IDEA

    14.3 RSA

    14.4 MD-4, MD-5 and SHA

    14.4.1 SHA

    14.5 Digital Signature Standard

    14.5.1 Digital Signature Algorithm

    14.6 More Signature Schemes

    14.7 PGP 2.6.1

    14.7.1 PGP Details

    14.8 Adapting PGP for Agents

    14.9 Royalties

    14.10 Judging Security

    14.11 Summary

    15 Cash

    15.1 Digital Cashier's Checks

    15.2 Endorsed Digital Cashier's Checks

    15.3 Blinded Signatures

    15.4 Simple Anonymous Cash

    15.5 Secret Sharing

    15.6 Traceable Anonymous Cash

    15.7 Cash without Choices

    15.8 Summary

    16 Commercial Cash

    16.1 NetCash

    16.2 First Virtual

    16.3 DigiCash

    16.4 CommerceNet

    16.5 Conclusions

    17 Going Deeper

    17.1 Emotional Agents

    17.2 Matters of Taste

    17.3 Negotiation

    17.4 Conclusion

    18 Experimenting

    18.1 XLISP Agents

    18.2 Safe-TCL Agents

    18.3 LOADER.LSP

    18.4 AIRAGENT.LSP

    18.5 AIRHOST.LSP

    18.6 CORE.LSP

    19 Back to the Future

    20 Glossary

    21 Sources

    21.1 Language FTP Sources

    21.2 Cryptography FTP Sources

    21.3 Other FTP Sources

    21.4 Mosaic and WWW Pages

    21.5 Newsgroups

    21.6 Other Sources

    22 Index


Product details

  • No. of pages: 370
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1995
  • Published: March 20, 1995
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483214368

About the Author

Peter Wayner

Peter Wayner is a writer living in Baltimore and is the author of Digital Cash and Agents at Large (both Academic Press). His writings appear in numerous academic journals as well as the pages of more popular forums such as MacWorld and the New York Times. He has taught various computer science courses at Cornell University and Georgetown University.

Affiliations and Expertise

Writer, Baltimore, MD, USA

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