Mobile agents on ad hoc networks
Inherent with the notion of an ad hoc network is the idea that nodes are able to be dynamically added to and deleted from the network. This is directly contradictory with the “static network topology” assumption that most agent infrastructures make. Various research efforts (Caripe et al. 1998) have studied subsets of these problems, including those working on dynamic service discovery (e.g., the CoABS Grid , but we are far from having a comprehensive set of solutions. SWAT has developed a number of techniques for agents to reason about and act on network-layer information. Agents are able to modify the network state; make decisions about their itineraries (i.e., if they are mobile agents) based on network topology; and adapt their communication modalities to avoid network congestion. For example, when agents communicate, the connectivity of the agents may not mirror the connectivity of the network— hence, a broadcast message from one agent may result in massive quantities of network traffic. One SWAT innovation addresses the difficult problem of implementing general multicast communication on ad hoc networks by allowing agents select how to multicast based on current network topology.