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Agents Unleashed - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780127387659, 9781483214368

Agents Unleashed

1st Edition

A Public Domain Look at Agent Technology

Author: Peter Wayner
eBook ISBN: 9781483214368
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 20th March 1995
Page Count: 370
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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


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


10.1 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





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


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1995
20th March 1995
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

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

Ratings and Reviews