Typed Computational Email for Serverless Distributed Applications

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CitationYale University Technical Report, Yale/DCS/TR1291, May 2004
AuthorsRobert Fischer
Hong Jiang
Michael J. Fischer


Peer agents are executable object-oriented email components exchanged between users as a basis of communication for distributed applications. Peer agents, which we implement, are strongly typed and are dispatched to user-installable trusted handlers based on their type. The type mechanism provides the flexible trust management needed to implement secure distributed applications over store-and-forward networks. Peer agents address a number of contemporary problems in distributed systems. They allow users with low-grade or intermittent Internet access to provide and consume interactive services that typically require a web server hosted by a trusted third party. By eliminating the need for the trusted third party, privacy is enhanced. Peer agents allow an initiator to adopt new standards without requiring prior agreement with others involved in the communication. For all of these reasons, peer agents offer an attractive alternative to conventional client/server architectures for distributed applications.

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