Network management by mobile agents

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Ma, Haiqing
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Recently a new technique for distributed computing software on networks referred to as "mobile agents" has attracted much research attention. A mobile agent is an independent software entity which exists in a software environment. It is an autonomous, intelligent program that moves through a network, searching for and interacting with services on the user's behalf. In this thesis, applications of mobile agents in network management is investigated. Two research areas are addressed, one is network monitoring and the other is network signaling. A network management system (NMS) was developed combining mobile agents, SNMP, Java and web browser technologies. The mobile agent's attributes, such as mobility, delegation, communication, persistence, fault tolerance and independence o platform, are realized in the system. A working demonstration of the system has illustrated a strong variety of capabilities in monitoring network elements. Also implemented were two resource negotiation models for network signaling by mobile agents in a simulated environment. In model 1, all agents involved in establishing a connection will go to one central place for network resource negotiation, but in model 2, only the call initiating agent will go to each intermediate node to negotiate resources with a local agent. Two message-based systems were also implemented for comparison with their corresponding mobile agent models. The resource negotiation uses concepts of economic consumer surplus and burstiness model. The test results show that the mobile agent methods are better than the message-based methods in terms of negotiation time under normal conditions. In addition, the mobile agent of model 1 is better than that of model 2.