David Kotz, Robert Gray, and Daniela Rus. Future Directions for Mobile-Agent Research. Technical Report TR2002-415, Dartmouth Computer Science, January 2002. Based on a conversation with Jeff Bradshaw, Colin Harrison, Guenter Karjoth, Amy Murphy, Gian Pietro Picco, M. Ranganathan, Niranjan Suri, and Christian Tschudin.

Abstract: During a discussion in September 2000 the authors examined the future of research on mobile agents and mobile code. (A mobile agent is a running program that can move from host to host in network at times and to places of its own choosing.) In this paper we summarize and reflect on that discussion. It became clear that the field should shift its emphasis toward mobile code, in all its forms, rather than to continue its narrow focus on mobile agents. Furthermore, we encourage the development of modular components, so that application designers may take advantage of code mobility without needing to rewrite their application to fit in a monolithic mobile-agent system. There are many potential applications that may productively use mobile code, but there is no ``killer application'' for mobile agents. Finally, we note that although security is an important and challenging problem, there are many applications and environments with security requirements well within the capability of existing mobile-code and mobile-agent frameworks.

Keywords: mobile-agent, security, mobile computing

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Copyright © 2002 by the authors.

See also later version kotz:dwta.