Legand L. Burge III
Oklahoma State University, Department of Computer Science
Dr. K.M. George
$4,500 on 10/17/97
To purchase equipment, fund conference registration and travel expenses
related to dissertation research to develop an agent-based massively distributed
parallel processing environment.
Abstract: An Actor-Based Framework for Distributed Mobile Computation
Recently, autonomous mobile agents have begun to be recognized as a
new computing paradigm for distributed systems. An autonomous mobile agent
is a program that can change its behavior and migrate from machine to machine
in a heterogeneous network dynamically. In this research, we present a
communication paradigm that incorporates actor-based message passing to
support dynamic architecture topologies for massively distributed parallel
computations. We formally define an abstraction of the actor model with
the semantics of mobility and navigational autonomy. We express mobile
agents as actors using mobile actor semantics. We address concurrency issues
such as divergence, starvation, deadlock and mutual exclusion. Lastly,
we show that our model provides a new solution to programming massively
distributed parallel computations. We justify the need for this formalization
providing solutions to known problems associated with mobile agents.
Currently, we are implementing the actor semantics, as well as mobile
actor semantics within the Java programming Language through an ACTOR Class
library. Concurrent programs may be written using the Actor Class Methods.
The library will work for a standalone system (enforcing concurrency),
or on a shared memory multiprocessing system (enforcing concurrency and/or
parallelism). We are currently implementing a Java based actor architecture
for implementing distributed actor-based computations. Each physical machine
will maintain a Run-time Manager, which will allow actor processes to migrate
between machines. In particular, we extend the Java Programming Language
with mobile actor semantics to support global computing. Our prototype
software will be made publicly available.
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