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Mobile Agents Systems in Wireless Applications

Mobile Agents Systems in Wireless Applications

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The paper presents an introduction in the Mobile Agents Systems and describes how this technology can be used in wireless applications. Also it is shown the possibility of securing wireless applications that use mobile agents and distributed computing. Wireless networks are a relatively new technology in the LAN market. With the weak encryption and security defined in the IEEE standards, wireless LANs, when improperly deployed or administered, can provide a significant risk to those economic sectors. These sectors include health-care, government, and banking in particular. Increasingly diverse heterogeneous wireless infrastructures in combination with more narrowly defined roles of parties participating in the delivery of applications to mobile users pose new challenges for support for delivering these applications.
The paper presents an introduction in the Mobile Agents Systems and describes how this technology can be used in wireless applications. Also it is shown the possibility of securing wireless applications that use mobile agents and distributed computing. Wireless networks are a relatively new technology in the LAN market. With the weak encryption and security defined in the IEEE standards, wireless LANs, when improperly deployed or administered, can provide a significant risk to those economic sectors. These sectors include health-care, government, and banking in particular. Increasingly diverse heterogeneous wireless infrastructures in combination with more narrowly defined roles of parties participating in the delivery of applications to mobile users pose new challenges for support for delivering these applications.

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12/26/2011

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Journal of Mobile, Embedded and Distributed Systems, vol. I, no. 1, 2009
 
ISSN 2067
 – 
4074
Page 13
Mobile Agents Systems in Wireless Applications
Mihaela MUNTEAN
Faculty of Economic SciencesDepartment of Business InformaticsTimisoara West University, Romaniamihaela.muntean@fse.uvt.ro
 Abstract 
The paper presents an introduction in the Mobile Agents Systems and describes how this technologycan be used in wireless applications. Also it is shown the possibility of securing wireless applications that usemobile agents and distributed computing. Wireless networks are a relatively new technology in the LAN market.With the weak encryption and security defined in the IEEE standards, wireless LANs, when improperly deployedor administered, can provide a significant risk to those economic sectors. These sectors include health-care,government, and banking in particular. Increasingly diverse heterogeneous wireless infrastructures incombination with more narrowly defined roles of parties participating in the delivery of applications to mobileusers pose new challenges for support for delivering these applications.
Key-Words 
mobile agents, artificial intelligence, intelligent agents, wireless applications.
1. Mobile and intelligent agents
Mobile software agents are a new concept used in distributed systems and this concept isbased on human agents idea
real estate agent, travel agent. Figure 1 presents a newvision about intelligent agents.
DistributedSystemsMobile CodeDatabase &Knowledge baseTechnologyMachineLearningAI & CognitiveScienceInformationRetrievalData StructuresSecurity
 – 
cryptographic -Technology
Vision of Tim Finin, 1998 A new vision, 2006Structured Prorammin 1975 -> Objects 1982 -> Aents 1998AGENTS
A New DevelopmentTechnology
Fig. 1. Agents a new development technologyThis concept presents some advantages like: natural and easy-to-understand mechanismto describe a variety of applications and a powerful metaphor for designing andimplementing complex software systems, since multiple cooperating agents can be usedto solve very formidable problems. In figure 1 it is shown the concepts from computerscience which cooperate in developing agents concept.Some example of agent applications are:
 
user-interface agents
Microsoft Office Assistant, Microsoft Agents;
 
Journal of Mobile, Embedded and Distributed Systems, vol. I, no. 1, 2009
 
ISSN 2067
 – 
4074
Page 14
 
personal (expert) assistants
calendar managers and investment assistants;
 
e-commerce agents
travel and shopping agents;
 
network management;
 
business process agents
data driven workflow management;
 
Information management agents
email filtering, web browsing, notification andresource discovery agents.
 An agent is a computer system, situated in some environment that is capable of flexibleautonomous action in order to meet design objectives (Jennis, Sycara and Wookbridge,1998).
Summarizing some characteristics, it is told that an agent is:
 
Autonomous
proactive, goal-directed, long-lived;
 
Adaptive
adapt to their environment and users and learn from their users,other agents and their own experience;
 
Cooperative
cooperates with human agents and other software agents,utilize various agent communication languages, advertise their capabilitiesand understand the capabilities of other agents.In the figure 2 it is exhibit the types of software agents.
AdaptiveCooperative
IntelligentAgents CollaborativeAgents InterfaceAgents CollaborativeLearningAgents 
 
Vision of Hyachinth Nwana, 1996 
Types of Software Agents
Fig. 2. Types of software agentsIn software distributed applications it is preferred to use software agents because: theyreduce human work
many task can be performed faster and more accurately by asoftware agent; handle information overload
agents can automatically sift through thevast amounts of unstructured information available on the networks; and provide a new,more powerful methodology to develop complex software systems.In real heterogeneous distributed applications there are used two types of mobilesoftware agents:
 
 stationary agents
 
executes only on the system where it begins executionand if it needs information on another system, or needs to interact with anagent on another system, it use client-server communication mechanism suchas socket programming, RPC, RMI, DCOM or CORBA
 
Journal of Mobile, Embedded and Distributed Systems, vol. I, no. 1, 2009
 
ISSN 2067
 – 
4074
Page 15
 
mobile agent 
not bound to the system where it begins execution, canmove from one system to another within network and transports both its stateand its code with it.In the figure 3 it is present the difference between client-server, remote execution,mobile code and mobile agent approach. The mobile code exposes that the code is
obtained from a remote, possibly “un
-trust
ed” system, which is executed on your local
system
web applets, executable email attachments, proxies downloaded as part of adistributed object technology, such as Java RMI or Jini. In a general sense, mobileagents are also mobile code, since, from the view of the system receiving the mobileagent, code is being downloaded to it. The following analogy is applied in Javatechnology in figure 12.3: the Workshop is JVM in that is executed Java byte-code for
building response, the phrases of type “Tell me how to build a car” is a HTTP request,
CarPlan is byte-code and the image with the car is the result that is also a HTTPresponse or a Java object; mobile code approach corresponding to Java applets.
Client CodeHost A
Client-Server
Client
Build me a carHost B
Server
Car PlansWorkshop
CAR
Host A
Remote Execution
Client
Build me a car. TakeHost B
Server
Car PlansWorkshop
CAR
Host A
Mobile Code
Client
Tell me how tobuild a carHost B
Server
WorkshopCar PlansHost A
Mobile Agent
Client ComputerLet me use yourworkshop tobuild a carHost B
Server
Car Plans
AgentGenerator
Workshop
Fig. 3. Different approach for building distributed systemsStrong and weak mobility used in agent theory is translate that
the strong mobility 
 means migration of agent code, data and execution state and
the weak mobility 
 means migration of only the agent code and data.
It is obvious that strong mobility isdifficult to accomplish
because:
first 
if the agent code is interpreted, access to theexecution state is difficult to obtain and
second 
if the agent code is compiled beforeexecution, the execution state is represented by the stack of program. Transporting thestack and rebuilding it on a different host, which can be an entirely differentarchitecture, is a not easy task.
2. Mobile and intelligent agents features
In order to use a dedicated terms in mobile agent technology it is shown the most usedterms and their meanings [2]:

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