Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

pp 5604-5618

Mobile Agents

  • Niranjan SuriAffiliated withInstitute for Human and Machine Cognition
  • , Jan VitekAffiliated withPurdue University

Definition of the Subject

Mobile agents areprogramsthat, with varying degrees of autonomy, can move between hosts across a network. Mobile agents combine the notionsof mobile code, mobile computation, and mobile state. They are location aware and can move to new network locations through explicit mobility operations.Mobile agents realize the notion of moving the computation to the data as opposed to moving the data to the computation, which is an important paradigmfor distributed computing. Mobile agents are effective in operating in networks that tend to disconnect, have low bandwidth, or high latency.


Advances in computer communications and computing power have changed the landscape of computing: computing devices ranging from the smallestembedded sensors to the largest servers are routinely interconnected and must interoperate. Their connections often are set up over untrusted anduntrustworthy networks, with limited connect ...

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