Issues in Designing Network Management Systems based on Mobile Autonomous Agents

Hendrik Teixeira MacedoGeber Lisboa RamalhoCarlos A. G. Ferraz

The use of mobile agents for network management has increased in the last years as an alternative to client/server-based approaches, which exhibit problems due to centralization. Some authors claim that agent's properties, such as autonomy (reasoning) and coordination, could be useful on the network management context. However, there are not yet any guidelines on how to put together these properties, nor an effective evaluation of the impact of this integrated approach. In this paper, we discuss some issues in endowing agents with these properties in the context of developing network management solutions. Considering some metrics (processing time, CPU consumption, disk space, etc.), we present an evaluation of different multi-agent organizations varying the levels of agents' autonomy, agent's mobility and number of agents. The experiments have been carried out by means of a simulator we have built, taking as case study the disk space management problem in UNIX/NFS networks. The results reveal some guidelines to the design of management systems based on mobile autonomous agents.

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