Network Performance Management Using Mobile Software Agents

Christos Bohoris

Centre for Communication Systems Research (CCSR), University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.

In recent years a lot of promise has surrounded the potential impact of mobile software agents in the area of network management. The work aims to present a clear direction of practical exploitation of mobile agents for network management tasks. Three different case studies of network performance management were examined in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the agent mobility strategy and autonomous behaviour applied within the specific context. This work importantly allowed the identification of Constrained mobility, an agent migration strategy especially suited for network management tasks, involving a mobile agent autonomously migrating to a single network element where its execution is confined. The mobile agent benefits identified relate primarily to the easy support for programmability of network elements and the autonomous, self-configurable agent operation. An important drawback is that the advanced capabilities of modern mobile agent frameworks typically incur significant performance overheads and these were confirmed through a detailed performance evaluation comparing mobile agents to distributed object and mobile code approaches. In the direction of addressing this drawback, the work proposes network management solutions based on specially formulated execution environments that retain important mobile agent benefits while reducing network performance overheads.

Key words: Mobile Agents, Performance Management, Distributed Objects, Software Mobility, Software Autonomy, Mobile Code

PhD Thesis, July 2003.

The full thesis in Acrobat pdf (1.75M) can be made available by contacting the author (Christos.Bohoris (at)