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Active mail as underlying concept of mobile agents

: Schirmer, J.; Kirste, T.

Schumann, H. ; Zentrum für Graphische Datenverarbeitung, Rostock:
Information visualization and mobile computing : Workshop IMC '96, Rostock, February 26 - 27, 1996
Rostock: Computer Graphics Center, 1996
Workshop IMC <1996, Rostock>
Fraunhofer IGD ()
active mail; computational mail; itinerant agent; MIME; mobile agent; multimedia mail; remote programming; synchronization

"Mobile Agents" are a competitive concept of client-server computing and are especially suitable in mobile environments, characterized by low bandwidth communication facilities and ad hoc connection/disconnenction to stationary systems. They can be used for information retrieval and information filtering, in which case they evaluate replies and return only the relevant data. Mobile Agents as metaphor of active objects are created on a mobile device such as a Personal Digital Assistance (PDA), will be launched into the information galaxy and are fulfilling the mobile users task on the services available on networked stationary systems. One transmission channel of these iternerant agents is email. This paper introduces ACTIVEM3 as an example of an active manner. ACTIVEM integrats two known concepts: Active Mail and MultiMedia Mail. The idea of Active or Computational Mail has existed since 1976; transfer programs embedded in standard mail which automatically execute at the receivers site . This "hiker" - the active mail message - can carry also MultiMedia elements (audio, animation, image etc. and indeed subagents) in his "backpack" which he can also render and orchestrate at the receivers site in a sophisticated manner. Therefore synchronization concepts are introduced. To summarize the objective of ACTIVEM3 is the development and implementation of a system for the realization of Active MultiMedia Mail and a Composing Tool as an easy to use interactive authoring environment. This paper inroduces the basic ideas. The results of the proposed concept are presented through a realizd prototype.