University of Geneva - Centre Universitaire d'Informatique

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Member node: 073
University of Geneva Centre Universitaire d'Informatique 24, rue General-Dufour CH-1211 Geneva 4 Switzerland

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The Centre Universitaire d'Informatique (CUI) of the University of Geneva has working on mobile agents research since 1993, when one of the earliest mobile code models, the messenger paradigm, has been defined by Tschudin. Since then, there has been intensive research carried on mobile code, mobile agents, and more recently, on self-organising autonomous software, attested by a high number of publications in conferences, journals, and workshops; the participation to several national and european projects, and the establishment of three yearly workshops. Our research works have always focused on both sound theoretical results, and implemented infrastructures and applications.

These research works have covered different issues related to mobile agents, from the establishment of mobile code paradigms, to calculus of secure mobile computations, to applications, to executing platforms, to software engineering issues.

We have developed the Seal calculus, which extends Milner's pi-calculus
with abstractions for program mobility and security through the notion of encapsulation. Encapsulation is implemented through sealed objects. Each process runs inside of a "sealed" object or seal. A process can never leave its seal. Mobility is implemented by exchanging seals over the communication channels. The JavaSeal platform realises the Seal calculus. The basic property of JavaSeal is that agents (mobile objects) that run on the kernel are completely isolated for security. This means that an agent can only communicate with another agent or with a service under the control of a security policy. The JavaSeal platform has been developped during the ASAP project, sucessfully used in the HyperNews and SmartPay projects, and updated in the Dilemma project (see below for a brief description of those projects).

The Lana platform offers support for security, autonomy and disconnection, and mobility of data and programs. Security is assured by the fact programs are strongly isolated from each other: a program is unable to gain access to data that belongs to another program, and a system security policy governs the communications between programs. The Lana platform is the result of national basic research, it served as the main platform for the SIMAT project.

We are currently undertaking an industrial collaboration with Bill Yeager from SunLabs, who is working on issues pertaining to both mobile agents and P2P systems; and with Grzegorz Czajkowski from SunLabs, on the concept of Isolates.

Engineering Self-Organising Applications (ESOA)
AAMAS Workshop (since 2003)

Peer-to-Peer Infrastructures and Applications
Software Technology Track at HICSS (since 2001)

Mobile Object Systems (MOS)
ECOOP Workshop (since 1994)


In the framework of AgentCities, we were chairing a working group dedicated to self-organising applications. The objectives of this working group are to identify the range of scientific, industrial and commercial applications for which the self-organising applications paradigm can offer particular advantages over existing approaches; to establish a state of the art regarding self-organising applications engineering, covering specification, design, programming, and verification.

* SIMAT (EU IST-2001-28221)
This project evaluates the use of agent technology in the context of customized Web services and virtual enterprise applications.

* PABADIS: Plant Automation Based on Distributed Systems (EU IST-1999-60016)
Pabadis' objective is to solve the problem of plant IT infrastructure change, evolution and management by enabling an innovative plug-and-participate-environment with scalable and context driven adaptability and flexibility from the ERP-System to the single machine control in single piece production plants. The project combines Java-based Jini-technology with mobile and residential software agents.

*Agent Academy: A Data Mining Framework for Training Intelligent Agents(IST-2000-31050)
The main goal of Agent Academy were to develop an integrated environment for embedding intelligence in newly created agents through the use of Data Mining techniques.

* DILEMMA: Digital design and life-cycle management for distributed information supply services in innovation exploitation and technology transfer (EU IST-1999-10092)

The target of the DILEMMA project was to design and develop an integrated system using mobile agent technology that would provide the basis for the efficient technology transfer and innovation exploitation between European enterprises, research organisations, experts and public or private organisations, with the assistance of mediators (brokers) by facilitating and improving information supply and communication between them.


* MEDIA: Mobile Electronic Documents with Interacting Agent (SPP-ICS 5003-45332) This project aimed at developing the means that will allow protection, retrieval and dissemination of electronic documents under similar conditions as printed documents and, in addition, offering to readers of electronic documents all the advantages of electronic information processing technology, like searching of documents depending on the reader's interests, establishing links between related documents, and interacting with the documents.

# HyperNews : Hypermedia Newspaper (SPP-ICS 5003-045333)
The HyperNews project aimed at developing an electronic newspaper environment based on agent technology.

# SmartPay : Smartcards for Advanced Internet Payment Schemes (SPP-ICS 5003-054554)
The aim of the SmartPay project was the development of payment mechanism that fit for normal payments as well as Internet payments.

* ADAMA: Architectures for Dependable Applications with Mobile Agents The goal of this project was to study and provide tools for the development of trustworthy mobile agent applications executing in operational environments. We explored how to apply to mobile agent systems the concept of dependability (i.e. availability, reliability, safety, security, and survivability) which was initially developed in the frame of traditional distributed systems.

* ANAISOFT : Advanced Network and Agent Infrastructure for the Support Of Federations of Workflow Trading Systems
This project proposed to study the creation of secure and responsive Federations of Workflow Trading Systems (FWTS) using intelligent and mobile agent technology.



Di Marzo Serugendo, G. and Deriaz, M. (2005) A Social Semantic Infrastructure for Decentralised Systems Based on Specification-Carrying Code and Trust. Proceedings of the Socially-Inspired Computing Symposium.

This list was generated on Mon Sep 10 16:38:59 BST 2007.


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