The 2009 International Conference on High Performance Computing and Simulation (HPCS 2009)
June 21 - 24, 2009, Leipzig, Germany


Agents – Technology for the Mainstream?

Volkmar Schau
Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Agent technology is seen as a promising approach to address the challenges of engineering today's complex and mobile software systems in heterogeneous system environments and decentralized structures. Agents provide a new and fascinating design paradigm for architecting and programming distributed and scalable middleware systems. An agent is a small software entity that can act on behalf of its owner in the software world driven by any task. In contrast to most existing software development frameworks, in which users must initiate any kind of requests or actions, an agent-based software system works autonomously and proactively. Agents tend to be used where the environment is challenging. More specifically, typical agent environments are dynamic, unpredictable and unreliable. These environments are dynamic and unreliable insofar as they change rapidly in their topology or communication structure. They are unpredictable as it is in most cases not possible to predict the future states of the environment.

This tutorial presents a discerning overview of the current state of the art regarding the support that agent technology provides for the development of applications in decentralized and ubiquitous software systems. The suitability of the presented technologies for certain domains is provided by some real-world examples (wireless sensor networks, swarm simulation).

We cover the following topics:


There are no requirements for audience. The tutorial addresses scientists, specialists and IT decision makers for mobile, distributed and adaptive systems as target audience.

The tutorial material will be presented in a 2 to 3-hour session.


Volkmar Schau
is a research staff member of Computer Science at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena.  He received his Master's degree in Computer Science (Diploma) in the year 2006.  In 2000 he was invited to join the mobile agent working group at the Friedrich Schiller University to study about agent technologies and toolkits.  As a member of the mobile agent working group he was the key developer for the TRACY2 mobile agent platform.

Mr. Schau and his partners were awarded with a grant from a federal entrepreneur program supporting a spin-off.  In 2003 the company “the agent factory GmbH” was established.  Working as Chief Executive Officer Mr. Schau developed his product vision of human centred mobile social networks, based on mobile intelligent agents located at mobile devices, e.g. cell phones.  In 2006 Mr. Schau was offered the opportunity to follow his vision further by starting his PhD thesis at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena.

The promising field for agent modelling and infrastructure research induced Bell Labs Innovations to invite Mr. Schau in 2007 and 2008.  During his Bell Labs time he researched agent technology into industrial environment and adaptive systems, based on the concept that an agent based approach offers easier adaptation and integration of functionality and adds-on the key advantage of local intelligence in high performance systems.