Leveraging strong agent mobility for Aglets with the Mobile JikesRVM framework

Raffaele Quitadamo, Letizia Leonardi, Giacomo Cabri

Abstract


Mobility enables agents to migrate among several hosts, becoming active entities of networks. Java is today one of the most exploited languages to build mobile agent systems, thanks to its object-oriented support, portability and network facilities. Nevertheless, Java does not support strong mobility, i. e. the possibility of relocating running threads along with their execution state; challenges arising from implementing strong mobility upon the JVM has led to the choice of a weaker form of agent mobility (i. e. weak mobility): although in many agent scenarios (e.g. in simple reactive agents) weak mobility could be enough, it usually complicates programming parallel and distributed applications, as it forces developers to structure their agent-based programs as sort of FSMs (Finite State Machine). In this paper, we present our Mobile JikesRVM framework to enable strong Java thread migration, based on the IBM Jikes Research Virtual Machine. Moreover, we show how it is possible (and often desirable) to exploit such a framework to enrich a Mobile Agent Platform, like the IBM Aglets, with strong agent mobility and to leverage software agents potential in parallel and distributed computing.

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