As IT industries develop, upgrade and diversify, heterogeneous operating environments running a mix of new and legacy systems become increasingly important. Such environments are currently inadequate due to lack of compatibility with each other. This thesis investigates how agents can be utilised to facilitate such heterogeneous environments, aiding enterprise systems in building bridges between incompatible software and hardware systems. An autonomous agent has independent agency and decision-making astuteness. When placed in heterogeneous environments to interact with other such agents, the consequences of its action and its preferred choice of actions are greatly influenced by actions of other agents interacting in heterogeneous environments. The main objectives of this thesis include examining the roles of agents in heterogeneous operating environments, development of a novel multi agent base architecture and an associated framework for single and heterogeneous environment. The research work also studies the plausible application to test the developed proof of concept by developing application and using the framework that utilises Windows services in a totally incompatible Solaris based Sun Ray ultra thin client environment. The work includes a novel method of modeling agent based communication architecture suitable for correspondence between two inherently different operating systems - Solaris and Microsoft Windows. The circumstances in which coordination or coordination failure occurs between these systems are investigated. The proposed method of agent based communication that can potentially overcome the barriers formed by two completely different software and hardware architectural regimes. An analysis of printing services in MS Windows and Solaris environments, review the age long problem of lack of device drivers for commonly (and cheaply) available Ink Jet printers for Unix (and like) operating systems. A novel method is proposed that uses agents in heterogeneous environment to overcome this problem. A new architecture that utilises Windows based printing services on a Sun Ray ultra thin client is presented to test and evaluate the proof of concept. This thesis is motivated by the need to provide a low cost printing solution to Sun Ray users. Most Windows based desktop users currently have access to variety of low cost printing solutions. Printer vendors ship device drivers only for Windows or at most Macintosh, as other operating systems such as Solaris, MVS, z/OS are used for corporate solutions and low cost desktop printing have not been a major requirement in the past.
|Date of Award||2007|
|Supervisor||Sharma D (Supervisor) & Dat Tran (Supervisor)|