This paper describes how multiple interacting swarms of adaptive mobile agents can be used to locate faults in networks. The paper proposes the use of distributed problem solving using mobile agents for fault finding in order to address the issues of client/server approaches to network management and control, such as scalability and the difficulties associated with maintaining an accurate view of the network. The paper uses a recently described architectural description for an agent that is biologically inspired and proposes chemical interaction as the principal mechanism for inter-swarm communication. Agents have behavior that is inspired by the foraging activities of ants, with each agent capable of simple actions; global knowledge is not assumed. The creation of chemical trails is proposed as the primary mechanism used in distributed problem solving arising from the self-organization of swarms of agents. Fault location is achieved as a consequence of agents moving through the network, sensing, acting upon sensed information, and subsequently modifying the chemical environment that they inhabit. Elements of a mobile code framework that is being used to support this research, and the mechanisms used for agent mobility within the network environment, are described.

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Series Lecture Notes in Computer Science
White, A, Bieszczad, A. (Andrzej), & Pagurek, B. (Bernard). (1998). Distributed fault location in networks using mobile agents. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science.