SOMA Interoperability (1)

Today, a large number of mobile agent platforms exist which differ widely in architecture and implementation. These differences prevent any interoperability between MA platforms. However, interoperability between systems of different vendors or manufacturers is a fundamental requirement in order to fulfil the needs of the upcoming open service market. Since the basis for interoperability is the standardization of the used technology, one requirement regarding MA platforms is standard compliance.

Currently, the most important standardization body in the area of MA is the Object Management Group (OMG) with its Mobile Agent System Interoperability Facility (MASIF) specification. The MASIF standard has been adopted as new OMG technology in February 1998. It comprises several important aspects, such as agent management, mobility, naming and tracking.

To answer the goal of interoperability, SOMA has been developed by closely considering compliance with both CORBA and MASIF.

In the design and implementation of SOMA, we faced three different challenges when providing interoperability (see Figure 1):

  1. an agent may call external CORBA objects (SOMA agents as CORBA clients);
  2. an agent may publish its interface on an ORB (SOMA applications as CORBA servers);
  3. any external entity may access SOMA through the standard MASIF interface (interoperability between SOMA and other CORBA components).

Figure 1. SOMA compliance with CORBA
(click here for a larger view of the picture)

Page updated on Tuesday, 08-Jan-2002 23:38:10 CET
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