Abstract: In traditional computational systems, resource owners have no incentive to subject themselves to additional risk and congestion associated with providing service to arbitrary agents, but there are applications that benefit from open environments. We argue for the use of markets to regulate agent systems. With market mechanisms, agents have the abilities to assess the cost of their actions, behave responsibly, and coordinate their resource usage both temporally and spatially.
We discuss our market structure and mechanisms we have developed to foster secure exchange between agents and hosts. Additionally, we believe that certain agent applications encourage repeated interactions that benefit both agents and hosts, giving further reason for hosts to fairly accommodate agents. We apply our ideas to create a resource-allocation policy for mobile-agent systems, from which we derive an algorithm for a mobile agent to plan its expenditure and travel. With perfect information, the algorithm guarantees the agent's optimal completion time.
We relax the assumptions underlying our algorithm design and simulate our planning algorithm and allocation policy to show that the policy prioritizes agents by endowment, handles bursty workloads, adapts to situations where network resources are overextended, and that delaying agents' actions does not catastrophically affect agents' performance.
Keywords: mobile computing, mobile-agent, distributed computing
Copyright © 2001 by Springer-Verlag.The copy made available here is the authors' version; for a definitive copy see the publisher's version described above.