A Scouting-Based Multi-Agent System Model to Deal with Service Collaboration in Cloud Computing

A Scouting-Based Multi-Agent System Model to Deal with Service Collaboration in Cloud Computing

Mauricio Paletta (Universidad Nacional Experimental de Guayana (UNEG), Venezuela)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6098-4.ch010


Cloud computing addresses the use of scalable and often virtualized resources. It is based on service-level agreements that provide external users with requested services. Cloud computing is still evolving. New specific collaboration models among service providers are needed for enabling effective service collaboration, allowing the process of serving consumers to be more efficient. On the other hand, Scout Movement or Scouting has been a very successful youth movement in which the collaboration of its members can be observed. This motivated a previous work aiming to design MAS-Scout, a framework that defines Multi-Agent Systems based on the principles of Scouting. In this chapter, MAS-Scout is used to design a system to deal with service collaboration in a cloud computing environment focusing on the premise that Scouting has been a very successful social movement in the world and that collaboration is part of its principles. The results presented in this chapter show that MAS-Scout, which is based on the Scouting principles, can be satisfactorily used to automate cloud computing needs.
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1. Introduction

Cloud Computing (CC) is emerging as a new distributed system that works towards providing reliable, customized and “quality of service” guaranteed dynamic computing environments for end-users (Weiss, 2007). It is primarily based on service-level agreements that provide external users with requested services. The success of achieving this goal in proper time (efficiency) and/or to obtain higher quality results (effectiveness) in these dynamic and distributed environments depends on implementing an appropriate collaboration model between service providers in the cloud. The following are some definitions of CC given by different authors, the last one being a definition given by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST):

  • “Cloud is a parallel and distributed computing system consisting of a collection of inter-connected and virtualized computers that are dynamically provisioned and presented as one or more unified computing resources based on service-level agreements (SLA) established through negotiation between the service provider and consumers” (Buyya et al, 2009).

  • “Clouds are a large pool of easily usable and accessible virtualized resources (such as hardware, development platforms and/or services). These resources can be dynamically reconfigured to adjust to a variable load (scale), allowing also for an optimum resource utilization. This pool of resources is typically exploited by a pay-per-use model in which guarantees are offered by the Infrastructure Provider by means of customized Service Level Agreements” (Vaquero et al, 2009).

  • “Cloud Computing is the evolution of a variety of technologies that have come together to alter an organization’s approach to building out an information technology infrastructure. Like the Web a little over a decade ago, there is nothing fundamentally new in any of the technologies that make up cloud computing” (Reese, 2009).

  • “At its simplest, cloud computing is the dynamic delivery of information technology resources and capabilities as a service over the Internet. Cloud computing is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet. It generally incorporates infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS)” (Sarna, 2011).

  • “Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics: on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service; three service models: infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, and software as a service; and four deployment models: private, community, public, and hybrid” (Mell & Grance, 2009).

Distributed computing system, computing resource, service, negotiation, and infrastructure provider are keywords extracted from these definitions and are related with CC technology. As we will see in Section 3 these keywords are relevant to discover the relationship between CC systems and multi-agent based collaboration distributed systems. Moreover, this relationship can also be analyzed by identifying the key characteristics of CC (Armbrust et al, 2009):

  • 1.

    The illusion of infinite computing resources.

  • 2.

    The elimination of an up-front commitment by cloud users.

  • 3.

    The ability to pay for use as needed.

Additionally, (Voorsluys et al, 2011) present the following features desired for a cloud:

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