The concept of agents -- programs that are capable of transporting themselves across a [heterogeneous] network to execute and return results -- is a fascinating if troubled area of research. While theoretical advantages of agents have been well-established, few agent-based applications have been commercially successful. We argue that the lack of applications stems from a lack of understanding essential agent usage patterns. In this paper, we identify a set of fundamental patterns that support the design of agent-based applications that scale performance, reliability, and security. To evaluate their performance, some of these patterns were implemented in Java to demonstrate customizable and scalable performance.
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