Mobile agents are software nomads that act as your personal representative, working autonomously through networks. They are able to visit network nodes directly using available computing power and are not limited by platform. This emerging field is now poised to become a cornerstone for new Web-based ubiquitous computing environments. Mobile Agents provides a practical introduction to mobile agent technology and surveys the state of the art in mobile agent research. Students and researchers can use the book as an introduction to the concepts and possibilities of this field and as an overview of ongoing research. Developers can use it to identify the capabilities of the technology to decide if mobile agents are the right solution for them. Practioners can also gain hands-on experience in programming mobile agents through exploration of the source code for a complete mobile agent environment available through the companion website.

Key Features

*Summarizes the state of the art in mobile agent research
*Identifies the benefits and limitations of current mobile agent technology to help developers understand the possibilities of this new field
*Extensive mobile agents web portal ( with the Java source code for a complete industrial-quality environment for mobile agents, with significant parts of the system open source


Researchers and developers will find an introduction to mobile agent technology. Researchers can get an overview of ongoing and related research and topics. Developers can start to create their own mobile agent systems through the complete environment provided.

Table of Contents

Part I Motivation for and Introduction to Mobile Agents
1 Designing Innovative Distributed Systems
2 From Client-Server to Mobile Agents 2.1 A First Look at Mobile Agents 2.1.1 The Artificial Intelligence Point of View 2.1.2 The Distributed Systems Point of View 2.2 A Short History of Mobile Agents 2.2.1 The Early Approaches of Mobile Code 2.2.2 Remote Evaluation 2.2.3 Mobile Objects 2.2.4 Mobile Processes 2.2.5 Mobile Agents 2.3 Similar but Different Concepts 2.3.1 Internet Agents, Worms, and Spiders 2.3.2 Java Applets 2.3.3 Java Servlets 2.4 Why Are Mobile Agents a Good Idea? 2.5 Possible Application Domains of Mobile Agents
Part II Mobile Agents—Concepts, Functions, and Possible Problems
3 Mobile Agent Migration 3.1 The Mobile Agent Migration Process 3.1.1 Generic Framework for Agent Migration 3.1.2 Migration in the Tracy Mobile Agent Toolkit 3.2 Effective Migration as a Core Feature of Mobile Agent Toolkits 3.2.1 Mobile Agents versus Client-Server 3.2.2 Performance Analysis of Simple Mobile Agents versus Client-Server 3.2.3 Discussion of Our Results and a Further Literature Review 3.3 Design Issues of Agent Migration 3.3.1 Mobility Models 3.3.2 Examples for Mobility Models 3.3.3 Related Work—Other Classification Approaches 3.4 Reasoning about Improved Mobility Models 3.4.1 Drawbacks of Simple Migration Techniques, and Current Implementations 3.4.2 Improving the Performance of Mobile Agents 3.4.3 Performance and Migration Str


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© 2005
Morgan Kaufmann
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About the authors

Peter Braun

Peter Braun is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Intelligent and Multi-Agent Systems in the Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. Previously he was a faculty member in the Software Engineering Group of the computer science department at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany. He received a M.S. degree and a Ph.D. in computer science from FSU Jena. His research interests include mobile agents, especially agent migration protocols, and Grid services.

Affiliations and Expertise

Center for Intelligent and MultiAgent Systems, Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia

Wilhelm Rossak

Willi Rossak is professor of Software and Systems Engineering at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany. He specializes in the modeling and development of distributed dynamic systems with a focus on the upstream tasks of the software life cycle. He received his Diploma and Ph.D. in computer science from the Vienna University of Technology, Austria. He has published more than sixty research papers on a wide variety of topics in software and systems engineering. He also works as a consultant for the IT industry and research institutions in many countries.

Affiliations and Expertise

Software Engineering Group, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany


"I think this book will be the first standard introductory book on mobile agents" —José M. Vidal, University of South Carolina