Date of Award

Spring 2002

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science

First Advisor

Harris, Douglas

Second Advisor

Corliss, George F.

Third Advisor

Schwerm, Marie

Abstract

The explosive development of the Internet and wireless networking has opened new frontiers to both the users and the service providers. Although users have discovered the benefits of accessing information at any time and at any place, services providers are still been confronted by the network complexities. The service providers now need to provide the needed infrastructure for these systems so that the users can connect to and disconnect from the network at will. Current client-server distributed systems do not work well in this scenario. Mobile agent-based systems provide a new infrastructure that is different from the client-server model. A host and a number of different agents constitutes a mobile agent system. In any mobile agent system, agents are autonomous programs that travel from one node in the network to another to perform the owner assigned tasks. Though the host runtime needs to exist at every node in the network, the agent can possibly visit, the agent need not be preinstalled. This thesis investigates the implementation of a software agent framework using JINI (a dynamic distributed environment from Javasoft) and Secure Socket Layer (the industry standard secure communication protocol). The design of this framework along with the associated services is described. A few sample agents are implemented to test the prototype implementation. The results demonstrate that the design works very well in general, although significant work is needed for commercial deployment.

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