Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date


Technical Report Number



One of the paradigms that has been suggested for allowing efficient access to remote resources is transportable agents. A transportable agent is a named program that can migrate from machine to machine in a heterogeneous network. The program chooses when and where to migrate. It can suspend its execution at an arbitrary point, transport to another machine and resume execution on the new machine. Transportable agents have several advantages over the traditional client/server model. Transportable agents consume less network bandwidth and do not require a connection between communicating machines -- this is attractive in all networks and particularly attractive in wireless networks. Transportable agents are a convenient paradigm for distributed computing since they hide the communication channels but not the location of the computation. Transportable agents allow clients and servers to program each other. However transportable agents pose numerous challenges such as security, privacy and efficiency. Existing transportable agent systems do not meet all of these challenges. In addition there has been no formal characterization of the performance of transportable agents. This thesis addresses these weakness. The thesis has two parts -- (1) formally characterize the performance of transportable agents through mathematical analysis and network simulation and (2) implement a complete transportable agent system.