An RPC Mechanism for Transportable Agents

Saurab Nog, Dartmouth College
Sumit Chawla, Dartmouth College
David Kotz, Dartmouth College

Report by Dartmouth Department of Computer Science


Transportable agents are autonomous programs that migrate from machine to machine, performing complex processing at each step to satisfy client requests. As part of their duties agents often need to communicate with other agents. We propose to use remote procedure call (RPC) along with a flexible interface definition language (IDL), to add structure to inter-agent communication. The real power of our Agent RPC comes from a client-server binding mechanism based on flexible IDL matching and from support for multiple simultaneous bindings. Our agents are programmed in Agent Tcl; we describe how the Tcl implementation made RPC particularly easy to implement. Finally, although our RPC is designed for Agent Tcl programs, the concepts would also work for standard Tcl programs.