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Mobile agent

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Definition Edit

A mobile agent refer to

autonomous software entities that can halt themselves, ship themselves to another agent-enabled host on the network, and continue execution, deciding where to go and what to do along the way. Mobile agents are goal-oriented, can communicate with other agents, and can continue to operate even after the machine that launched them has been removed from the network.[1]

How it works Edit

Mobility allows an agent to move, or hop, among agent platforms. The agent platform provides the computational environment in which an agent operates. The platform from which an agent originates is referred to as the home platform, and normally is the most trusted environment for an agent. One or more hosts may comprise an agent platform, and an agent platform may support multiple computational environments, or meeting places, where agents can interact. Since some of these detailed aspects do not affect the discussion of security issues, they are omitted from the agent system model depicted in Figure 1.


Mobile agents applications are currently being developed by industry, government, and academia for use in such areas as telecommunications systems, personal digital assistants, information management, online auctions, service brokering, contract negotiation, air traffic control, parallel processing, and computer simulation.

Security issues Edit

The mobile agent computing paradigm raises several privacy and security concerns, which clearly are one of the main obstacles to the widespread use and adaptation of this new technology. Mobile agent security issues include: authentication, identification, secure messaging, certification, trusted third parties, non-repudiation, and resource control. Mobile agent frameworks must be able to counter new threats as agent hosts must be protected from malicious agents, agents must be protected from malicious hosts, and agents must be protected from malicious agents. This project is directed towards evaluating existing mobile agent security mechanisms and developing new countermeasures for mobile agent security threats.

References Edit

  1. Mobile Agent Systems (full-text).

Sources Edit

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