Abstract: Mobile-agent systems have gained popularity in use because they ease the application design process by giving software engineers greater flexibility. Although the value of any network is dependent on both the number of users and the number of sites participating in the network, there is little motivation for systems to donate resources to arbitrary agents. We propose to remedy the problem by imposing an economic market on mobile-agent systems where agents purchase resources from host sites and sell services to users and other agents. Host sites accumulate revenues, which are distributed to users to be used to launch more agents. We argue for the use of markets to regulate mobile-agent systems and discuss open issues in implementing market-based mobile-agent systems.
Copyright © 1999 by the authors.