Technical Report Number
The provision of a reliable communication infrastructure for mobile agents is still an open research issue. The challenge to reliability we address in this work does not come from the possibility of faults, but rather from the mere presence of mobility, which slightly complicates the problem of ensuring the delivery of information even in a fault-free network. For instance, the asynchronous nature of message passing and agent migration may cause situations where messages forever chase a mobile agent that moves frequently from one host to another. Current solutions rely on conventional technologies that either do not provide a solution for the aforementioned problem, because they were not designed with mobility in mind, or enforce continuous connectivity with the message source, which in many cases defeats the very purpose of using mobile agents. In this paper, we propose an algorithm that guarantees delivery to highly mobile agents using a technique similar to a distributed snapshot. A number of enhancements to this basic idea are discussed, which limit the scope of message delivery by allowing dynamic creation of the connectivity graph. Notably, the very structure of our algorithm makes it amenable not only to guarantee message delivery to a given mobile agent, but also to provide multicast communication to a group of agents - another open problem in research on mobile agents. After presenting our algorithm and its properties, we discuss its implementability by analyzing the requirements on the underlying mobile agent platform, and argue about its applicability.
Murphy, Amy L. and Picco, Gian Pietro, "Reliable Communication for Highly Mobile Agents" Report Number: WUCS-99-15 (1999). All Computer Science and Engineering Research.