Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Computer Science

First Advisor's Name

Xudong He

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Yi Deng

Third Advisor's Name

Shu-Ching Chen

Fourth Advisor's Name

Jie Mi

Fifth Advisor's Name

Raimund K. Ege

Date of Defense

3-31-2004

Abstract

A methodology for formally modeling and analyzing software architecture of mobile agent systems provides a solid basis to develop high quality mobile agent systems, and the methodology is helpful to study other distributed and concurrent systems as well. However, it is a challenge to provide the methodology because of the agent mobility in mobile agent systems.

The methodology was defined from two essential parts of software architecture: a formalism to define the architectural models and an analysis method to formally verify system properties. The formalism is two-layer Predicate/Transition (PrT) nets extended with dynamic channels, and the analysis method is a hierarchical approach to verify models on different levels. The two-layer modeling formalism smoothly transforms physical models of mobile agent systems into their architectural models. Dynamic channels facilitate the synchronous communication between nets, and they naturally capture the dynamic configuration and agent mobility of mobile agent systems. Component properties are verified based on transformed individual components, system properties are checked in a simplified system model, and interaction properties are analyzed on models composing from involved nets. Based on the formalism and analysis method, this researcher formally modeled and analyzed the software architecture of mobile agent systems, and designed an architectural model of a medical information processing system based on mobile agents. The model checking tool SPIN was used to verify properties such as reachability, concurrency and safety of the medical information processing system.

From successful modeling and analyzing the software architecture of mobile agent systems, the conclusion is that PrT nets extended with channels are a powerful tool to model mobile agent systems, and the hierarchical analysis method provides a rigorous foundation for the modeling tool. The hierarchical analysis method not only reduces the complexity of the analysis, but also expands the application scope of model checking techniques. The results of formally modeling and analyzing the software architecture of the medical information processing system show that model checking is an effective and an efficient way to verify software architecture. Moreover, this system shows a high level of flexibility, efficiency and low cost of mobile agent technologies.

Identifier

FI14062292

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