Date of Award

6-5-1995

Document Type

Thesis (Undergraduate)

Department

Department of Computer Science

Abstract

In recent years, there has been an explosive growth in the amount of information available to our society. In particular, the amount of information available on-line through vast networks like the global Internet has been growing at a staggering rate. This growth rate has by far exceeded the rate of growth in network speeds, as has the number of individuals and organizations seeking access to this information. There is thus a motivation to find abstract methods of manipulating this on-line data in ways that both serve the needs of end users efficiently and use network resources intelligently. In lieu of a traditional client-server model of information processing, which is both inflexible and potentially very inefficient, a Transportable Intelligent Agent system has the potential to achieve a more efficient and flexible network system. An intelligent agent is a program that models the information space for a user, and allows the user to specify how the information is to be processed. A transportable agent can suspend its execution, transport itself to a new location on a network, and resume execution at the new location. This is a particularly attractive model for both wireless and dialup networks where a user might not be able to maintain a permanent network connection, as well as for situations where the amount of information to be processed is large relative to the network bandwidth. Preliminary work in the field has shown that such agent systems are possible and deserve further study. This thesis describes a prototype transportable intelligent agent system that extends work already done in the field. Agents are written in a modified version of the Tcl programming language and transported using TCP/IP connections. Several simple examples demonstrate the properties of the system.

Comments

Originally posted in the Dartmouth College Computer Science Technical Report Series, number PCS-TR95-258.

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