Micro-agents on Android: Interfacing Agents with Mobile Applications
The comparatively recent move towards smartphones, and along with this new operating systems, such as Android, opens up new opportunities and offers potential to build new mobile agent-based applications.
Android gives applications access to a wide-ranging set of sensors and different communication channels – realizing the notion of nomadic computing – and supports a concurrent application layout based on loosely coupled components. This combination makes it particularly suitable for agent-based applications. Yet, it has several limitations: Android is not a multi-agent system on its own behalf and does not consistently employ loose coupling to give access to its capabilities.
To address those concerns we have ported our lightweight μ-agent framework μ 2 to the Android platform and directly interfaced it with Android platform facilities. This offers mutual benefits: agent-based applications can access Android functionality in a loosely coupled and unified fashion, while at the same time allowing the developer to consistently think in an agent-oriented manner. Android can use the μ-agent platform as a lightweight middleware module to build distributed applications in a hybrid fashion.
We present our system architecture, called Micro-agents on Android or MOA, and describe an example application using this approach as well as a performance benchmark. We further outline potential application areas and contrast it to existing approaches to build multi-agent applications on Android.
Keywordsmulti-agent systems mobile applications μ-agents micro-agents agent organisation android MOA benchmark
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