A new architecture to support efficient web browsing in a wireless mobile computing environment

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Walkty, Scott D.
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Mobile computing environments present several challenges arising from the limitations inherent in wireless networks and the inability of current network protocols to cope with these limitations. As the popularity of untethered access to the Internet increases, conventional network applications such as web browsing must overcome these challenges to support the needs of mobile users. Recent work in the mobile computing research community has attempted to increase the efficiency of web browsing in a mobile computing environment by employing a client/intercept/server architecture which enables the optimization of application layer data transmitted across the wireless portion of the network. Although effective, this strategy relies on the existence of a wired side agent, which introduces a new problem with respect to mobility across different heterogeneous networks where the agent may or may not be available). This thesis presents a new architecture to support the optimization of web browsing in a wireless mobile computing environment. The architecture uses mobile agents to dynamically deploy a client/intercept/server architecture on foreign networks that provide a certain mobility framework. The new architecture offers the following specific advantages: (1) A framework is identified that enables mobile units to discover and use mobile agent systems on foreign networks; (2) The benefits of a client/intercept/server architecture are translated to any network that supports this framework; (3) The architecture works with existing Internet protocols; (4) Mobile agent systems on foreign networks are modeled as a service that the foreign network provides, similar to other services such as printers. Finally, a prototype system is described that is implemented using the architecture to demonstrate the feasibility of the approach.