For example, can I transfer Arnold shaders from 3ds Max to Maya? Or from Houdini to Maya?
The answer is no. The Arnold plugins don’t include code for reading shader nodes from an ASS file and creating shader trees inside the host application (eg Maya, Houdini, or Cinema 4D).
You can use ASS files to take shapes and shaders from one app and render them in another app, but those shapes and shaders are never created inside the other app.
Instead, the standin node is translated to an Arnold procedural node, and at render time, that procedural node is expanded, and all the Arnold shapes and shaders are created inside the Arnold scene.