Agent Cold Blanket
Posted by Bill Venners on February 28, 2000 at 11:59 AM
> > As I worked with Jini, it occurred to me that Jini service
> > objects are agents, because the state is being sent along
> > with the code. They also go to more than one place. Normally,
> > the service provider sends the service (and other) objects up
> > to the lookup service, which later sends the same objects out
> > to clients.
> I think that taking this a step further, an agent (c.f. Jini object), only needs a Jini enable host to "live", the agent may well be "intelligent" enough to hunt out other such hosts and move around.
> Maybe someone will write a Jini service called AgentSpace which once running, allows Jini=based agents to move freely around between hosts running the service. Who knows what these agents will be used for? Maybe some large computational task where the agents move to hosts with spare processor capacity then move on again once the host become busy?
> Maybe a user could register their Jini host with a company surveying computer user habits, an agent could "move in", watch and profile the user then move on - obviously for some fee, payable to the host?
> The uses range from the useful to the purley academic!
The concern I've always had about agents is that a denial
of service bug (or attack) is usually far more serious on
the server side than the client side. I expect that mobile
agents will only be practical in a very controlled environment,
with massive reliance on strict checking of trustedness
of the mobile code.