Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS


TORRENT Sintesi della relazione

Project ID: IST-2000-25187
Finanziato nell'ambito di: FP5-IST
Paese: United Kingdom

Agent functionality

Intelligent agent technology is used for an important part of the SRM software. Agent technology reduces the need for centralised control, and conceptually, also scales well with the size and capabilities of a telecommunications network. Negotiation is a strong feature of agent technology, making this technology especially attractive for TORRENT. Agent technology is also ideally suited to the plug-and-play approach in the standardized interface environment that TORRENT advocates for future home networks. Intelligent agents have been used successfully in mobile and ATM. This gives us confidence that this technology will provide TORRENT with the flexibility needed to accommodate a vast range of services, present and future, and a customer base that can fluctuate, both in terms of numbers and preferences.

The functionality of the agent-based system is shown in the shaded area of the figure in D3.4. An agent representing the user negotiates with one or more network provider agents in order to initiate and control a session. A session may consist of one or more calls, where a call can be regarded as a single instance of service provision. The policy maker agent performs negotiations in accordance with customer preferences, network offerings, the customer’s ability to pay and any constraints placed on a customer. Such constraints may include the ability to pay for a service, authorised use of a service, network (e.g. bandwidth) constraints and general regulatory policy regarding network usage. Service negotiation may use mechanisms such as English, Dutch and Vickery auctions. Partner dominance in negotiations may also be relevant. The agent system is being hosted on a FIPA-compliant agent platform.

The agent system has to seamlessly interact with a variety of other components, in particular:
- The variously repositories. Here the issue is synchronisation with other users of the repository, as many users may be reviewing and/or updating their user preferences at any time.

- The monitoring features of Netfilter (with our extensions). Here the issues are:

- Reliably catching transient messages from the kernel.

- Filtering them to reduce the load.

- Passing them to the agent system, when it is ready to handle them.

- The packet-handling features of Netfilter. Here the issue is expanding the high-level commands from the agent system into low-level instructions to Netfilter (and potentially other kernel functions, such as the /proc file system). In addition, any response or error messages from these components need to be handled.

These issues are handled by the three daemons shown in the figure in D3.4, which can be identified by their blue shadows. These daemons are coded in C (fast and low memory footprint), and given an appropriate scheduling priority.

More information on the Torrent project can be found at:

Informazioni correlate


Eric SCHARF, (University Lecturer)
Tel.: +44-20-78825343
Fax: +44-20-78827997