Projects » Coordination Technologies for Mobile Agents and Wireless Devices

Coordination Technologies for Mobile Agents and Wireless Devices

  • Funded By: Nokia Research Center
  • Years: 2001-2002
  • Partners:

Background

In the next few years, advances in computing and communication technologies will change completely the information technology application scenarios. On the one hand, new, small, powerful and intelligent components will be distributed and embedded in the environment (embedded systems). These systems will be connected each other and to the Internet. They will be able to monitor the environment itself and to provide any kind of services, with remote access as well. Typical examples of these systems are integrated systems for environmental control, "intelligent house" management systems, and production automation systems. On the other hand, thanks to the advances in wireless communication, it will become less expensive and easy to integrate inherent mobile entities like appliances, robots, people, etc. These entities will become complete computing systems capable to communicate. They will be able to connect to the Internet, to use some services or to dynamically build-up an ad-hoc network (mobile ad-hoc network) by connecting with other mobile entities. Typical examples of these systems belong to the "wearable computers—intelligent dresses" area whose systems can find concrete application in the entertainment, sport or military market. The above described embedded and wireless systems can be naturally modelled as mobile software agents. Actually, this scenario is inherently dynamic, distributed and without a central control, so the software applications developed in this context can be conveniently described as proactive and reactive software entities, able to manage in an autonomous way the environment dynamism and their own motion through the environment itself, possibly exploiting artificial intelligence techniques. In the above context, one of the greatest challenge of software engineering research and development will be the definition of suitable coordination models and of the associated coordination infrastructure. In fact, in a world where a multitude of software agents - possibly mobile and communicating via wireless technologies - can interact with each other and may be in need of orchestrating their activities with each other, the only way to manage the complexity of software applications is via suitable models and infrastructures to rule and coordinate interactions and to provide the needed services to applications.

Goal of the Research

The research cooperation will be in the area of Coordination Technologies for Mobile Agents and Wireless Devices. In particular, the research efforts will be devoted to the analysis, design, and implementation of advanced coordination infrastructure for mobile agents in wireless environments. The main goal is the implementation of a prototype of a configurable and scalable coordination infrastructure, to be exploited for the design and development of complex Web-based application and services.