Computer Laboratory

Technical reports

Location-independent communication for mobile agents: a two-level architecture

Peter Sewell, Paweł T. Wojciechowski, Benjamin C. Pierce

April 1999, 31 pages


We study communication primitives for interaction between mobile agents. They can be classified into two groups. At a low level there are location dependent primitives that require a programmer to know the current site of a mobile agent in order to communicate with it. At a high level there are location independent primitives that allow communication with a mobile agent irrespective of its current site and of any migrations. Implementation of these requires delicate distributed infrastructure. We propose a simple calculus of agents that allows implementation of such distributed infrastructure algorithms to be expressed as encodings, or compilations, of the whole calculus into the fragment with only location dependent communication. These encodings give executable descriptions of the algorithms, providing a clean implementation strategy for prototype languages. The calculus is equipped with a precise semantics, providing a solid basis for understanding the algorithms and reasoning about their correctness and robustness. Two sample infrastructure algorithms are presented as encodings.

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BibTeX record

  author =	 {Sewell, Peter and Wojciechowski, Pawe{\l} T. and Pierce,
          	  Benjamin C.},
  title = 	 {{Location-independent communication for mobile agents: a
         	   two-level architecture}},
  year = 	 1999,
  month = 	 apr,
  url = 	 {},
  institution =  {University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory},
  number = 	 {UCAM-CL-TR-462}