Mobile-Agent versus Client/Server Performance: Scalability in an Information-Retrieval Task
[gray:scalability-tr]Robert S. Gray, David Kotz, Ronald A. Peterson, Peter Gerken, Martin Hofmann, Daria Chacón, Greg Hill, and Niranjan Suri. Mobile-Agent versus Client/Server Performance: Scalability in an Information-Retrieval Task. Technical Report number TR2001-386, Dartmouth Computer Science, January 2001. ©Copyright the authors. Later revised as gray:scalability.
Mobile agents are programs that can jump from host to host in the network, at times and to places of their own choosing. Many groups have developed mobile-agent software platforms, and several mobile-agent applications. Experiments show that mobile agents can, among other things, lead to faster applications, reduced bandwidth demands, or less dependence on a reliable network connection. There are few if any studies of the scalability of mobile-agent servers, particularly as the number of clients grows. We present some recent performance and scalability experiments that compare three mobile-agent platforms with each other and with a traditional client/server approach. The experiments show that mobile agents often outperform client/server solutions, but also demonstrate the deep interaction between environmental and application parameters. The three mobile-agent platforms have similar behavior but their absolute performance varies with underlying implementation choices.
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