The Internet is a rapidly becoming an integral aspect of the desktop computer if it has not already become so. The Internet can be visualized as worldwide information repository enabling resource sharing on a worldwide basis, through the use of distributed applications. Agents are a new approach to the development of distributed client-server applications built to exploit this information resource.
AgentOS provides an environment for the development and the deployment of agent-based client-server applications based on agents. Agents are an object representation of distributed systems containing both computational logic and state information. Agents are active and mobile, in that they (along with their state information) can migrate between the various hosts that exist in an agent-system such as AgentOS. Agents are autonomous in that they contain code to execute and take decisions on behalf of a human user or another agent as they carry out their assigned tasks. Agents can be as simple as s single algorithm or as complex as a complete application.
Viewed from the perspective of a single host, AgentOS behaves as a traditional server providing an environment for the execution of agents and accessibility of services. Abstracting one level further, i.e., viewed from the perspective of the entire network, AgentOS exceeds the role of the traditional server by assuming the role of a peer in a network of similar servers collectively providing an environment for distributed applications.
The first section in this paper discusses the agent-paradigm, the range of applications most suited for this mode of programming and the typical life cycle of an agent within an agent system such as AgentOS. The second section of this report discusses the requirements for AgentOS, and the design of AgentOS. Finally, a brief survey of related works and an overview of future directions for AgentOS are presented.
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