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Future factory production and assembly environments require smart automation and are controlled by a massively increasing number of computers with sensorial feedback from machines, parts, products, and humans, consisting of a wide variety of different networked devices and software programs, which can be considered as one big use case of pervasive and cloud computing with vanishing boundaries between the computing and the environment, and with a strong focus on decentralized distributed computing and information storage. These new complex information processing architectures are composed of hierarchical network graphs, and require some kind of self-organization and adaptability to overcome single-point of failure and robustness constraints. The data acquired from machines and sensitive products or parts are growing at a fast rate, leading to a large data volume that must be handled distributed with pre-processing, map- and reduce, and filtering algorithms.
Mobile Agents can be deployed in such large-scale and hierarchical network environments crossing barriers transparently, for example, industrial manufacturing and assembly environments, the Internet, Sensor Networks, and Cyber-Physical Systems. The networks can consist of high- and low-resource nodes ranging from generic computers to microchips, and the supported network classes range from body area networks to the Internet including any kind of sensor and ambient network. Mobile Agents can perform distributed computation in an autonomous manner.
In this work Agents are represented by mobile program code that can be modified at run-time by the Agents themselves. The presented approach enables the development of sensor clouds and smart systems of the future integrated in daily use computing environments and the Internet. Agents can migrate between different hardware and software platforms by migrating the program code of the agent, which embeds the control state and the private data of an agent, finally encapsulated in self-initializing and self-containing code frames.