Formal and Practical Aspects of Autonomic Computing and Networking: Specification, Development, and Verification

Formal and Practical Aspects of Autonomic Computing and Networking: Specification, Development, and Verification

Phan Cong-Vinh (NTT University, Vietnam)
Release Date: October, 2011|Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 367
ISBN13: 9781609608453|ISBN10: 1609608453|EISBN13: 9781609608460|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-845-3


Autonomic computing and networking (ACN), a concept inspired by the human autonomic system, is a priority research area and a booming new paradigm in the field.

Formal and Practical Aspects of Autonomic Computing and Networking: Specification, Development, and Verification outlines the characteristics, novel approaches of specification, refinement, programming and verification associated with ACN. The goal of ACN and the topics covered in this work include making networks and computers more self-organized, self- configured, self-healing, self-optimizing, self-protecting, and more. This book helpfully details the steps necessary towards realizing computer and network autonomy and its implications.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • ACN for Cognitive Networks
  • ACN for Multi-Agent Systems
  • ACN for P2P, Grid, Ad Hoc, and Sensor Networks
  • ACN for Storage and Caching Systems
  • ACN Test-Beds
  • Applications of Formal Methods in ACN Development
  • Formalizing Languages That Enable ACN
  • Security and Trust in ACN
  • Software Architectures for ACN
  • Validation and Verification Techniques for ACN

Reviews and Testimonials

This book will usefully serve as a technical guide and reference material for computer science and computer engineering researchers and scientists as well as designers and developers in computing and networking systems by providing them with state-of-the-art research results and future opportunities and trends. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first book that presents achievements and findings of ACN research covering the full spectrum of formalizing ACN. These make the book unique and, in more than one respect, a truly valuable source of information that may be considered a landmark in the progress of ACN.

– Dr. M. Bakhouya, Aalto University, Finland

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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A new computing and networking paradigm is currently on the spot as one of the priority research areas, and its research activities are booming recently: autonomic computing and networking (ACN), which are inspired by the human autonomic nervous system. ACN are characterized by their self-* facets such as self-organization, self- configuration, self-healing, self-optimization, self-protection, and so on, whose context-awareness used to dynamically control computing and networking functions.

The overarching goal of ACN is to realize computing and networking systems, which can manage themselves without direct human interventions. Meeting this grand challenge of ACN requires a rigorous approach to ACN and the notion of self-*. To this end, taking advantage of formal methods, in this book, we establish formal and practical aspects of ACN through specifying, refining, programming, and verifying ACN and their self-*. All of these are to achieve foundations and practice of ACN.

From the above characteristics, novel approaches of specification, refinement, programming, and verification are arising in formal methods for ACN. Therefore, new methodologies, programming models, tools, and techniques are imperative to deal with the impact of ACN and their self-* mentioned above on emerging computing and networking systems.

This book is preferred to be a reference material for readers who already have a basic understanding of ACN and are now ready to know how to specify, develop, and verify ACN using rigorous approaches. Hence, the book includes both theoretical contributions and reports on applications. For keeping a reasonable trade-off between theoretical and practical issues, a careful selection of the chapters was completed, on the one hand, to cover a broad spectrum of formal and practical aspects, and on the other hand, to achieve as much as possible a self-contained book.

Formal and practical aspects will be presented in a straightforward fashion by discussing the necessary components in detail and briefly touching on the more advanced components. Therefore, specification, development, and verification demonstrating how to use the formal methods for ACN will be described by sound judgments and reasonable justifications.

This book, with chapters contributed by prominent researchers from academia and industry, will serve as a technical guide and reference material for researchers, scientists, professionals, and students in computer science and computer engineering as well as developers and practitioners in computing and networking systems design by providing them with state-of-the-art research findings and future opportunities and trends. These contributions include formal approaches and applications in ACN. In particular, the book covers existing and emerging research issues in the formal methods for ACN.

The book has 13 chapters organized into two sections. The first section contains six chapters addressing formal and practical aspects of autonomic computing. The second section consists of seven chapters presenting formal and practical aspects of autonomic networking.

Section 1: Formal and Practical Aspects of Autonomic Computing

This section includes Chapters 1-6 and covers various topics on formal and practical aspects of autonomic computing. 

Chapter 1, by R. Calinescu et al., discusses ways in which rigorous mathematical techniques, termed formal methods, can be employed to improve the predictability and dependability of autonomic computing. Model checking, formal specification, and quantitative verification are presented in the contexts of conflict detection in autonomic computing policies, and of implementation of goal and utility-function policies in autonomic IT systems, respectively.

Chapter 2, by E. Vassev, presents ASSL (Autonomic System Specification Language), an initiative for self-management of complex systems whereby the problem of formal specification, validation, and code generation of autonomic systems is approached within a framework. Being a formal method dedicated to autonomic computing, ASSL helps developers with problem formation, system design, system analysis and evaluation, and system implementation. As part of the framework’s proof-of-concept strategy, ASSL has been used to make a variety of existing and prospective systems autonomic.

Chapter 3, by A. Manzalini et al., presents the main concepts of an autonomic communications toolkit designed and developed in the EU project CASCADAS for creating and supervising service networking ecosystems, structured as ensembles of distributed and cooperating autonomic components. Moreover, it describes several use-cases developed for its validation and demonstration and reports the experimental results to assess the toolkit performances.

Chapter 4, by C. Anagnostopoulos et al., discusses the application of particle swarm intelligence in autonomic computing and networking. Basic concepts and definitions of particle swarm intelligence are mapped to autonomic computing, and contextual information exploration (detection, discovery, and exploitation) is investigated in autonomous dynamic environments. 

Chapter 5, by H. S. Venkatarama et al., discusses simulation environments to implement approaches to automate the tuning of MaxClients parameter of Apache web server using fuzzy controllers. These are illustrations of the self-optimizing characteristic of an autonomic computing system.

Chapter 6, by L. Ferariu et al., discusses the features of genetic programming based identification approaches. In the context of complex identification problems, genetic programming brings some important benefits which basically refer to its inherent capacity of self-organizing the models, without restrictive working hypothesis.

Section 2: Formal and Practical Aspects of Autonomic Networking

This section consists of Chapters 7–13, with a focus on formal and practical aspects of autonomic networking and communications.

Chapter 7, by P.C. Vinh, is a reference material for readers who already have a basic understanding of the mobile environments (MEs) for their applications and are now ready to know how to specify and verify formally aspect-oriented self-configuring P2P networking (ASPN) in MEs using categorical language, assured that their computing needs are handled correctly and efficiently. ASPN in MEs is presented in a straightforward fashion by discussing in detail the necessary components and briefly touching on the more advanced components. Several explanatory notes and examples are represented throughout the chapter as a moderation of the formal descriptions. Significant properties of ASPN in MEs, which emerge from the specification, create the firm criteria for verification.

Chapter 8, by S. Hallé et al., discusses self-configuration from a mathematical logic point of view. In contrast with imperative means of generating configurations, characterized by scripts and templates, the use of declarative languages such as propositional or first-order logic is argued. In that setting, device configurations become models of particular logical formulae, which can be generated using constraint solvers without any rigid scripting or user intervention.

Chapter 9, by C.S. Sahin et al., presents a topology control mechanism based on genetic algorithms (GAs) within a mobile ad hoc network (MANET). Formal and practical aspects of convergence properties of the force-based genetic algorithm, called FGA, are discussed. Within this framework, FGA is used as a decentralized topology control mechanism among active running software agents to achieve a uniform spread of autonomous mobile nodes over an unknown geographical terrain. FGA can be treated as a dynamical system in order to provide formalism to study its convergence trajectory in the space of possible populations.

Chapter 10, by V. Vlassov et al., introduces Niche, a general-purpose distributed component management system used to develop, deploy, and execute self-managing distributed applications. Niche consists of both a component-based programming model as well as a distributed runtime environment. It is especially designed for complex distributed applications that run and manage themselves in dynamic and volatile environments.

Chapter 11, by G. Rétvári et al., presents a practical guideline for building truly autonomic systems. This idea is demonstrated by an example of building advanced self-adaptive routing mechanisms on top of Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) routing protocol.

Chapter 12, by J. Antoniou, addresses enhanced Session Management (SM) for multiparty communications, i.e. how to set up and modify a multi-party session that may respond to context changes and adapt to satisfy the users of a service group. By using the users' situation information, i.e. environment and network context, the chapter illustrates ways to provide more accurate sessions for mobile communities. 
Chapter 13, by U. Mir, provides an overview of using multiagent systems over cognitive radio networks for dynamic spectrum sharing. In this work, avoiding unnecessary spectrum wastage problem requires performing the sharing and allocation functions opportunistically. In accordance to developing spectrum sharing solutions where the cognitive radio nodes can work collectively, a comprehensive study of utilizing multiagent systems over cognitive radio networks is discussed.

This book has the following remarkable features:
  • Provides a comprehensive reference on formal and practical aspects of ACN.
  • Presents state-of-the-art formal and practical aspects of ACN.
  • Formally specifies, develops and verifies ACN.
  • Includes illustrative figures facilitating easy reading.
  • Discusses emerging trends and open research problems in the formal methods for ACN.

Being an Editor devoted to this book, I am advised by an Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) that currently consists of Dr. Costin Badica (University of Craiova, Romania), Dr. Radu Calinescu (Aston University, UK), Prof. Chin-Chen Chang (Feng Chia University, Taiwan), Prof. Mieso Denko (University of Guelph, Canada), Prof. Petre Dini (Cisco Systems, USA / Concordia University, Canada),  Prof. Alois Ferscha (Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria), Prof. Jianhua Ma (Hosei University, Japan), Prof. Jong Hyuk Park (Seoul National University of Technology, R.O.Korea), Dr. Emil Vassev (University College Dublin, Ireland), Prof. Fatos Xhafa (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain) and Prof. Huibiao Zhu (East China Normal University, China). These members are appointed to the EAB as needed to review the manuscripts submitted for possible publication.

We owe our deepest gratitude to Dr. Nguyen Manh Hung – Rector, Dr. Nguyen Vinh Khanh – Vice Rector, and Ms. Nguyen Mai Lan – Personnel Director of NTT University at Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam for their useful support of this project, especially to all the authors for their valuable contribution to this book and their great efforts. All of them are extremely professional and cooperative. We wish to express our thanks to IGI Global especially Joel A. Gamon for their support and guidance during the preparation of this book. A special thanks also goes to our families and friends for their constant encouragement, patience, and understanding throughout this project.

The book serves as a comprehensive and essential reference on ACN and is intended as a textbook for senior undergraduate and graduate-level courses. It can also be used as a supplementary textbook for undergraduate courses. The book is a useful resource for the students and researchers to learn ACN. In addition, it will be valuable to professionals from both the academia and industry and generally serves instant appeal to the people who would like to contribute to ACN technologies.

We highly welcome and greatly appreciate your feedback and hope you enjoy reading the book.

Phan Cong Vinh
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

Phan Cong-Vinh received a PhD in computer science from London South Bank University (LSBU) in UK, a BS in mathematics and an MS in computer science from Vietnam National University (VNU) in Ho Chi Minh City, and a BA in English from Hanoi University of Foreign Languages Studies in Vietnam. He finished his PhD dissertation with the title of Formal Aspects of Dynamic Reconfigurability in Reconfigurable Computing Systems supervised by Prof. Jonathan P. Bowen at LSBU where he was affiliated with Centre for Applied Formal Methods (CAFM), Institute for Computing Research (ICR). From 1983 to 2000, he was a lecturer in mathematics and computer science at VNU, Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology (PTIT) and several other universities in Vietnam before he joined research with Dr. Tomasz Janowski at International Institute for Software Technology (IIST) in Macao SAR, China, as a fellow in 2000. From 2001 to 2010 he did research together with Prof. Jonathan P. Bowen as a research scholar and then collaborative research scientist at CAFM. From January 2011 to May 2011 he worked for FPT - Greenwich collaborative program at FPT University (FU) in Vietnam as a visiting lecturer. From June 2011 to present he has become a member of NTT University (NTTU) to take on the responsibilities of an IT Department’s Deputy Dean. Regarding academic publications, he has been author or co- author of many refereed contributions published in prestigious journals, conference proceedings or edited books. He is the author of a book on computing science titled Dynamic Reconfigurability in Reconfigurable Computing Systems: Formal Aspects of Computing (2009) and editor of two titles besides the present work, Autonomic Networking-On-Chip: Bio-Inspired Specification, Development, and Verification (CRC Press) and Advances in Autonomic Computing: Formal Engineering Methods for Nature-Inspired Computing Systems (Springer), to be published in 2011 and 2012, respectively. He is also an IEEE member. His research interests center on all aspects of formal methods, autonomic computing and networking, reconfigurable computing, ubiquitous computing, and applied categorical structures in computer science.


Editorial Board

  • Dr. Costin Badica, University of Craiova, Romania 
  • Dr. Radu Calinescu, University of Oxford, UK 
  • Prof. Chin-Chen Chang, Feng Chia University, Taiwan 
  • Prof. Mieso Denko, University of Guelph, Canada 
  • Prof. Petre Dini, Cisco Systems, USA/ Concordia University, Canada 
  • Prof. Alois Ferscha, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria 
  • Prof. Jianhua Ma, Hosei University, Japan 
  • Prof. Jong Hyuk Park, Seoul National University of Technology, R.O. Korea 
  • Dr. Emil Vassev, University College Dublin, Ireland 
  • Prof. Fatos Xhafa, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain 
  • Prof. Huibiao Zhu, East China Normal University, China