Mobile agent techniques involve distributed control if communication is required
among different types of agents, especially when mobile agents can migrate from station
to station. This techniques can be implemented in a distributed distance learning environment,
which allows students or instructors to login from anywhere to a central server
in an education center while still retaining the look-and-feel of personal setups. In this
research paper, we propose a distributed agent framework along with its communication
messages to facilitate mobile personal agents, which serve three different groups of distance
education users: instructors, students, and system administrators. We propose an
agent communication framework as well as agent evolution states of mobile agents.
The communication architecture and message transmission protocols are illustrated.
The system is implemented on the Windows platform to support nomadic accessibility of
remote distance learning users. Personal data also migrate with the mobile agents, allowing
users to maintain accessibility to some extent even when the Internet connection
is temperately disconnected. Using user-friendly personal agents, a distance education
platform can include different tools to meet different needs for users.
Journal of Information Science and Engineering 18(4):489-506