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Academic Overview

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this unit students will:

  • be conversant with the principles and theoretical concepts of mobile software agents;
  • appreciate models and approaches to building mobile agent systems;
  • demonstrate knowledge of different mobile agent toolkits and development environments;
  • utilise techniques for achieving mobile agent communication and coordination;
  • understand security issues in mobile agent systems;
  • select and apply appropriate tools for a particular application;
  • foster critical and independent analysis of how mobile agents can be applied to distributed computing applications.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

Assessment Summary

Reading Component: 15%; Research paper and presentation: 50%; Project/practical assignment: 35%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Assignment 1 - Research & Presentation 50% (Research Paper 35%, Presentation 15%) Research Paper due Tuesday 6 September 2011, 5pm; Presentation in Week 7 Tutorial
Assignment 2 - Practical Project 35% (Code Submission 10%, Demonstration/Interview 25%) Code Submission due Week 11; Demonstration/Interview in Week 12 Tutorial
Reading Component & Unit Test 15% Week 9 Lecture

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning.


Our feedback to You

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
  • Graded assignments with comments
  • Interviews
  • Test results and feedback

Your feedback to Us

Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

Required Resources

JADE software toolkit. Students can download this free software from:


Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Introduction to Agents and Mobile Agents  
2 Mobile Agent Applications  
3 Mobile Agent Toolkits and Development Environments  
4 Mobile Agent Modelling  
5 Mobile Agent Security  
6 Software Agent Architectures  
7 Multi Agent Architectures Assignment 1 Research Paper due Tuesday 6 September 2011, 5pm; Assignment 1 Presentation in Week 7 Tutorial
8 Agent Communication Languages  
9 Agent Coordination Protocols Unit Test in Week 9 Lecture
10 Unit Test  
11 Agent Oriented Software Engineering Assignment 2 Code Submission due Week 11
12 Research into and Emerging Issues for Software Agents Assignment 2 Demonstration/Interview in Week 12 Tutorial
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your MUSO (Blackboard or Moodle) learning system.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Assignment 1 - Research & Presentation
    You will be given multiple topics from which you will select one to write a research paper about. You will be required to give a presentation on your selected topic.

    This is an individual assignment.
    50% (Research Paper 35%, Presentation 15%)
    Criteria for assessment:

    You will be assessed on the quality of your research paper, and presentation, regarding your selected topic.

    Due date:
    Research Paper due Tuesday 6 September 2011, 5pm; Presentation in Week 7 Tutorial
  • Assessment task 2
    Assignment 2 - Practical Project
    You will be given a specification that you will need to implement using the JADE mobile agent toolkit. You will need to have sound knowledge of Java fundamentals in order to program the system.

    This is a group assignment. You will implement the system in groups of either two or one person(s). You will have a demonstration and interview in the week folllowing the submission.
    35% (Code Submission 10%, Demonstration/Interview 25%)
    Criteria for assessment:

    At the demonstration/interview both team members will need to demonstrate complete familiarity with the system/code and will need to individually change parts of the system as required by the tutor. Inability to demonstrate understanding, familiarity and competent programming skills will result in loss of marks for the individual.

    Due date:
    Code Submission due Week 11; Demonstration/Interview in Week 12 Tutorial
  • Assessment task 3
    Reading Component & Unit Test
    The Reading Component will be assessed via a written test in the lecture. The material that the student will be asked questions from include all lecture notes apart from specific parts that will be pointed out in the course of the unit. No programming or code-oriented questions will be asked. The questions will be in the form of short answers and multiple choice questions.
    Criteria for assessment:

    A question may have many answers. You will be marked correct as long as a reasonable justification is provided for your choice/position. Participation in classroom discussions and lectures, and study of lecture notes is all that is required for preparation for the test.

    Due date:
    Week 9 Lecture


Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz).

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Other Information


Student services

The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis

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