Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 December 1999
Telecommunications infrastructures are a natural application domain for the distributed software agent paradigm. The authors clarify the potential application of software agent technology in legacy and future communications systems, and provide an overview of publicly available research on software agents used for communications management. The authors focus on the intelligent agent type of software agent, although the paper also reviews the reasons why mobile agents have made an impact in this domain. The author's objective is to describe some of the intricacies of using the software agent approach for the management of communications systems. The paper is in four main sections. The first section provides a brief introduction to software agent technology. The second section considers general problems of network management and the reasons why software agents may provide a suitable solution. The third section reviews some selected research on agents in a telecommunications management framework. The final section concludes the paper by discussing some of the problems encountered and some future directions for further research.
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