Mobility entails the study of systems in which components change location, in a voluntary or involuntary manner, and move across a space that may be defined to be either logical or physical. Coordination is concerned with what happens when two or more components come in contact with each other. In this paper we put forth a working definition of coordination, we construct arguments that demonstrate that coordination is central to understanding mobility, we explore the intellectual richness of the notion of coordination, and we consider the practical implications of coordination-centered system design strategies. We develop these ideas in two steps. First, we analyze the different dimensions that govern the definition of a coordination strategy for mobility: the choice of an appropriate unit of mobility, the treatment of space and its implications on the way we think about mobility, and the manner in which contextual changes induced by component movement are perceived and managed. Then, we explore mechanisms that enable us to model and reason about coordination of mobile components, and to make it available to software developers in the form of middleware. Three very different models of mobility (Mobile Unity, CodeWeave, and Lime) are used as principal sources for illustration purposes.
KeywordsMobile Agent Mobile Host Mobile Unit Code Fragment Physical Mobility
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