Distributed Directory Service and Message Router for Mobile Agents.
Science of Computer Programming, 39, (2--3), .
Research about networks and agents has identified the need for a layer that provides a uniform protocol to communicate with fixed and mobile agents. In order to preserve the compatibility with existing infrastructures, proposed solutions have involved a ``home agent'', which forwards messages to a mobile entity. The mechanism of a home agent puts a burden on the infrastructure, which may hamper the scalability of the approach, in particular, in massively distributed systems, such as the amorphous computer or the ubiquitous/pervasive computing environment. Free from any compatibility constraint, we have designed an algorithm to route messages to mobile agents that does not require any fixed location. The algorithm has two different facets: a distributed directory service that maintains distributed information about the location of a mobile agent, and a message router that uses the directory service to deliver messages to a mobile agent. Two properties of the algorithm were established. The safety property ensures that messages are delivered to the agent they were aimed at, whereas the liveness property guarantees that messages eventually get delivered. A mechanical proof of the properties was carried out using the proof assistant Coq.
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