Autonomic computing and communications is intended to increase the use of technology in the management of complex technological systems. The challenge of managing modern computing systems and networks efficiently is already somewhat beyond the ability of human operators, not least because the timescales for decision-making are so short. Autonomic techniques borrow from physics, biology and other disciplines to allow improved self-management, self-diagnosis, self-healing and so on — the so-called self-* properties.
Our work in autonomic systems has dealt mainly with the stability of systems under adaptation: can we be convinced that a system will adapt both appropriate in terms of the situation it is in, and also remain “correct” in the sense of meeting its functional requirements? We have addressed this as a systems level in terms of architecture and analysis, and also at a more detailed level in terms of managing resources in data centres and providing cross-layer optimisation within communications protocol stacks.
Autonomic systems still lack a systems theory that would allow us to model and design adaptive systems effectively. A future goal of our work is to contribute to such a theory, drawing on our work in situation identification to ensure that the adaptations that occur are appropriate for the particular situation and consistent with past and future behaviour.
Systems analysis and design
Simon Dobson, Roy Sterritt, Paddy Nixon and Mike Hinchey. Fulfilling the vision of autonomic computing. IEEE Computer 43(1), pages 35–41. January 2010.
John Strassner, Sven van der Meer, Declan O’Sullivan and Simon Dobson. The use of context-aware policies and ontologies to facilitate business-aware network management. Journal of Network and Systems Management 17(3), pages 255–284. September 2009.
Simon Dobson, Lorcan Coyle, G.M.P. O’Hare and Mike Hinchey. From physical models to well-founded control. In Proceedings of the 6th IEEE International Conference and Workshops on Engineering of Autonomic and Autonomous Systems. IEEE Press. San Francisco, CA. 2009.
Simon Dobson. An adaptive systems perspective on network calculus, with applications to autonomic control. International Journal of Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems 1(3), pages 332–341. 2008.
Simon Dobson, Spyros Denazis, Antonio Fernández, Dominique Gaïti, Erol Gelenbe, Fabio Massacci, Paddy Nixon, Fabrice Saffre, Nikita Schmidt and Franco Zambonelli. A survey of autonomic communications. ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems 1(2), pages 223–259. December 2006.
Cross-layer adaptive networking
M.A. Razzaque and Simon Dobson. Enhancement of self-organisation in wireless networking through a cross-layer approach. In Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Ad Hoc Networks. Niagara Falls, CA. 2009.
M.A. Razzaque, Simon Dobson and Paddy Nixon. Cross-layer self routing: a self-managed routing approach for MANETs. In Procedings of the 4th IEEE International Conference on Wireless and Mobile Computing, Networking and Communications. IEEE Press. Avignon, FR. 2008.
M.A. Razzaque, Simon Dobson and Paddy Nixon. Cross-layer optimisations for autonomic networks. In Advanced autonomic networking and communication, pages 127–148. Monique Calisti, Sven van der Meer and John Strassner (ed). Birkhäuser Whitestein series. Springer Verlag. 2008. ISBN 978−3−7643−8568−2.
Joëlle Coutaz, James Crowley, Simon Dobson and David Garlan. Context is key. Communications of the ACM 48(3), pages 49–53. March 2005.
Emerson Loureiro, Paddy Nixon and Simon Dobson. Adaptive management of shared resource pools with decentralized optimization and epidemics. In Proceedings of the 18th Euromicro Conference on Parallel, Distributed and Network-based Processing, pages 51–58. Marco Danelutto, Julien Bourgeois and Tom Gross (ed). IEEE Computer Society Press. Pisa, IT. February 2010.
Emerson Loureiro, Paddy Nixon and Simon Dobson. Decentralized utility maximization for adaptive management of shared resource Pools. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Intelligent Networking and Collaborative Systems (INCoS’09). IEEE Computer Society. Barcelona, ES. 2009.
Emerson Loureiro, Paddy Nixon and Simon Dobson. A fine-grained model for adaptive on-demand provisioning of CPU shares in data centres. In Self-organizing systems, pages 97–108. Karin Anna Hummel and James Sterbenz (ed). Volume 5343 of LNCS. Springer Verlag. Vienna, AT. December 2008.