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Agents as Peers

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Anthill Anthill is an experimental framework created by members of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bologna. Anthill's goal is to simplify P2P application development and deployment by freeing the programmer of all low-level details including communication, security and ant scheduling.

Anthill is based on the multi-agent system (MAS) paradigm and strives to integrate the evolutionary techniques of natural systems into its framework. Gnutant is an ant algorithm implementing a document sharing application. There is also a prototype implementation of a real network environment. A development site, publications and Javadoc-generated documentation is available.
BIAP Systems, Inc. BIAP Systems, Inc.'s GOtrieve is a software platform for retrieving, integrating and sharing content across networks or the Internet. GOtrieve uses open-source technology including HTML and XML to create customized "agents" that can retrieve web- or network-based content from multiple sources. The content is then compiled into a single, custom designed page that can be accessed by any web-enabled device, including web-ready cellular phones and PDA's.
Consilient, Inc. Consilient, Inc. builds software using a many-to-many Peer-To-Peer network infrastructure, which shares some characteristics of email and Web browsing systems. At the core of its XML and Java-based software is a new kind of intelligent process agent known as a "Sitelet": a small, portable applet. Sitelets are mobile J2EE/XML-based web applications that contain both the code required to present a user interface and the data required to manage the process instance. Created for e-business, Sitelets connect individual applications and transactions to create an infrastructure for sharing information in a Peer-To-Peer fashion.

Sitelets record all activity throughout the course of their participation in a virtual process. Sitelets are self-contained and asynchronous that can operate on any client or server in any location that are executed by, and move between, instances of a Java run-time environment called a "Peer". Peers may be extended to include a wide variety of process enhancing components, including task oriented templates (e.g., a purchase order), domain-specific logic (e.g., contract management), Sitelet processing services (e.g., digital signature) or gateways to existing applications. A Sitelet SDK is available.
Ecocys Technologies Ecocys Technologies develops the TaskShareTM infrastructure, a set of content/data-management tools that use familiar web-based technologies (the Web, e-mail, peer-to-peer computing, and wireless connectivity) to link people, data and devices together into a cohesive collaborative process management system. TaskShare leverages open standards-based technologies such as Java, XML, HTTP, JINI, SQL and SSL, to create a peer-to-peer collaborative technology platform, enabling the creation and management of both lightweight and heavy-duty business processes on-demand. Ecocys Product Suite's Easelet Administrator provides wizards for customizing the configurations of the peer-to-peer infrastructure's service components, while its Process Builder Wizards allow users to create ad hoc "task teams" that share and exchange data, documents and multi-media objects. Team members can collaborate in real-time via chat, video conferencing, instant messaging and e-mail, before integrating the results into the company's existing corporate database.
Infobot Infobot is a Perl-based online fact gathering service that relies on the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) protocol. The fact-gathering involves factoids, perhaps another useful online research tool.
International Interactive Commerce, Ltd. International Interactive Commerce, Ltd. (IIC) creates distributed Internet server software. IIC's technology uses software agents to break up and re-distribute rich media and applications by utilizing unused portions of Internet bandwidth to deliver the reassembled package to endusers.This provides a solution for delivering rich media, for example, with no streaming on the server side or increased bandwidth requirements. The company calls this optimized use of currently underutilized network resources Distributed Internet Server Technology. Distributed Internet Server software is Java2 compliant, and does not require changing existing applications systems or rearchitecting of existing server environments. The IIC Research and Development team includes scientists formerly employed at IBM, Sprint, GE, GTE, SilkNet and XEROX.
Prompt2U Prompt2U has developed a distribution technology for resource sharing and traffic flow acceleration within a network's infrastructure. The concept is based on placing an "agent" on each computer in the network, making it possible for resource management to be either centralized or distributed in a P2P fashion. Prompt2U claims this solution is completely scalable and that no centralized routing is used, which increases the reliability of the network. The product is not yet available for download.
Texar Corporation Texar Corporation's s-Peer is a Peer-to-Peer client that uses a security architecture for peer-to-peer networking and selective file sharing on the Web. s-Peer supports Windows, Solaris and Linux. It is currently available as a free download at www.s-peer.com. The Java-technology based toolkit includes features supporting policy-based access controls, unique digital identities, secure communications, and data integrity and validation. To demonstrate these security enhancements, Texar has developed a peer-to-peer file sharing and collaboration application based on s-Peer. Texar has released the source code for s-Peer under its own license. See the FAQ and white paper for more of s-Peer's technical details.
WebPager WebPager is a Java-based peer-to-peer client application that enables a "host" peer to control another peer's "client" web browser (or other application) remotely. The WebPager architecture consists of a very simple custom-protocol that communicates over TCP/IP and a socket-based server/client. Remote machines can listen for messages and act on them by launching the necessary application to process the web page, url or document name passed to it. The utility also supports peer-to-peer multi-slide remote url presentations, even through a firewall, because remote client peers only "listen". They don't talk back. The application was designed to provide a lightweight content pointer mechanism that is capable of sending messages to numerous remote clients at the same time, providing PowerPoint-like slideshow capabilities without any of the overhead (weighs in at 41K). The Java application can use either the MS JVM (.exe version) or a Sun JVM (with the JAR executable version).

The application is also an extremely powerful remote administration control utility. Access control is provided for remote connection security, and a complete logging is provided of all access attempts. WebPager's interface will automatically determine your IP address and host name so so users can easily exchange contact information. Michel (Mitch) Gallant works for a major Canadian telecommunications corporation as an Internet applications and security architect. He maintains an Internet web site which provides extensive technology demonstrations of the burgeoning multi-vendor code-signing infrastructure: http://home.istar.ca/~neutron/java.html. He can be reached at neutron@istar.ca.
WebV2 WebV2 provides an application platform and network infrastructure to enable commercial peer-to-peer applications. Its approach goes beyond simple file searching and sharing and extends to B2B collaboration between peers in the supply chain, or to enable direct knowledge exchange within enterprises. WebV2 architecture is based on networked intelligent agents, capable of scaling up for commercial use.

The company was founded in early 2000, and has been incubated and financed by Siemens Technology-To-Business Center in Berkeley, California.
Yenta Yenta is a fully-distributed, peer-to-peer coalition-formation system that autonomously determines users' interests and then automatically forms discussion groups, in which users who share one or more interests may send secure real-time messages to each other, either one-to-one or in groups. The system was originally developed as part of Leonard Foner's doctoral dissertation at the MIT Media Lab's Software Agents group. Yenta demonstrates how combining a distributed design which does not rely on any one central point with cryptography and reputation management can solve many of the problems otherwise encountered by systems trying to protect sensitive information from crackers, subpoenas, and malicious interlopers. Yenta's web site also provides source code, precompiled binaries, many papers, and Foner's doctoral dissertation.

P2P Weblogs

Richard Koman Richard Koman's Weblog
Supreme Court Decides Unanimously Against Grokster
Updating as we go. Supremes have ruled 9-0 in favor of the studios in MGM v Grokster. But does the decision have wider import? Is it a death knell for tech? It's starting to look like the answer is no. (Jun 27, 2005)

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