A Java-based Mobile Agent Framework for Distributed Network Applications

Salah Jowan ., Tony Mullins .


Recently, a new paradigm has emerged for
structuring and developing distributed network applications in
open distributed and heterogeneous environments. Many
application areas, such as electronic commerce, mobile
computing, network management and information retrieval can
benefit from the application of the Mobile Agent technology. The
exploitation of Mobile Agents offers several peculiar advantages,
such as reduction of network latency, asynchronous execution,
robust and fault tolerant behavior. Java technology provides a
platform-independent, portable software environment which
makes it an excellent tool for mobile agent development. Mobile
Agents are mainly intended to be used for applications
distributed over large scale (slow) networks because they allow
saving communication costs by moving computation to the host
on which the target data resides. However, it has not become
popular due to some problems such as security. In this paper, we
present a distributed network architecture based on the Mobile
Agent approach. A network of communicating servers each of
which support multiple clients is our goal. We also propose a
security approach for mobile agents, which protect critical data
of mobile agents from malicious attacks, by using cryptographic
techniques. We implement a bank service application to be tested
on our mobile agent framework. The results suggest that for
networks with high latency, Mobile Agents may provide
improvements over more conventional client-server systems.

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