[Fwd: [unrev-II] OHS/Biologically Inspired Architecture for Societal-scale Information Systems (SISs)?]

From: John J. Deneen (jjdeneen@netzero.net)
Date: Fri Sep 14 2001 - 09:41:14 PDT

  • Next message: Jack Park: "[unrev-II] NoteCards meets gIBIS"

    An interesting link about ongoing studies at UC Irvine relative to
    Jack's link about "Better Networks: Look to Nature".

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    The following is some interesting information about applied research for
    developing a Bio-Networking Architecture for Societal-scale Information
    Systems (SISs):


    The chip on the honeybee's back is one of the early microsystems for
    wireless communication developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The
    device contains an ASIC, a custom photovoltaic cell, a capacitor for
    energy storage (the largest object on the substrate), and a custom IR
    LED for signal transmission. The bee's flight dynamics were not
    impacted, and it could be tracked for over a range of about 2 km. The
    power for that design comes from an onboard solar cell, and the energy
    is stored on a capacitor
    for a short duty cycle pulse.. (Photo courtesy of Oak Ridge National
    < http://www.sensorsmag.com/articles/0401/18/index.htm >

       * Bio-Networking Architecture: A Scalable and Self-Organizing Network
         Architecture based on Biological Concepts," Santa Fe Institute
         Workshop on The Internet as a Large-Scale Complex System, Santa Fe,
         March 30, 2001. <

    Abstract: "The Bio-Networking Architecture that we propose is inspired
    by the observation that the biological world has already developed the
    mechanisms necessary to achieve the key requirements of future network
    services and applications, such as scalability, adaptability to
    heterogeneous and dynamic conditions, evolution, security,
    survivability, and simplicity. In the biological world, each individual
    entity (e.g., a bee in a bee colony) follows a simple set of behavior
    rules (e.g., migration, reproduction, energy exchange, mutation, and
    death), yet a group of entities (e.g. a bee colony) exhibits desirable
    emergent behavior (e.g., scalability, adaptation, evolution, security,
    survivability, simplicity). Thus, if services and applications adopt
    biological concepts and mechanisms, they too may be able to achieve
    these key requirements of future network services and applications." ...

       * Biologically Motivated Distributed Designs for Adaptive Knowledge
         Management <http://www.c3.lanl.gov/~rocha/SFI99.html>

    3.1.1 The XML Repository

    "We store pointers to published documents as XML (5) records. By working
    with XML records, we gain the ability to change the information
    associated with their respective documents, which we cannot do with the
    proprietary databases. Indeed, the XML records should be seen more as
    dynamic objects rather than static documents. Not only do we gain the
    ability to change the original keywords and citation information from
    the respective documents, but also the ability to add annotations, links
    to other records, associations with other types of media (e.g. sound
    clips), etc. Furthermore, XML records can even have associated
    procedures to compute relevant algorithms. We can think of XML records
    as archival objects, "buckets" of pointers, links, data, and code, which
    are not affiliated with any one particular information resource, as
    defined by Nelson et al [1998].

    By transforming records from passive documents into active objects, we
    start our construction of the biologically motivated enabling substrate
    at the lowest level of information systems: the source data. This is an
    essential step to set up a distributed design. In centralized systems,
    documents can be passive since it will be up to a higher level program
    to decide if a certain document is relevant or not. In contrast, in
    distributed systems, much of the decision-making is off-loaded to
    lower-level components, which need to be endowed with computing
    capabilities. In this sense, records become active objects that store
    changing information, communicate with other components, and even
    perform actions (run code) on the information they store."

       * Pollen
         < http://www.xrce.xerox.com/research/ct/projects/pollen/home.html >

    "The basic premise is that people and objects can hold tiny bits of
    information (like bees and flowers holding bits of pollen) and that
    information is naturally spread around when people move around. Another
    words, bio-networking architecture need a free and unimpeded flow of
    information. Without exposure, ideas – and the benefits they might bring
    – can easily be overlooked. Advances in technology are especially hard
    to communicate. The more complex technology becomes, the greater the
    need to present it in the right environment."

       * Hive: Distributed Agents for Networking

    Hive provides ad-hoc agent interaction, ontologies of agent
    capabilities, mobile agents, and a graphical interface to the
    distributed system. We are applying Hive to the problems of networking
    ``Things That Think,'' putting computation and communication in everyday
    places such as your shoes, your kitchen, or your own body. TTT shares
    the challenges and potentials of ubiquitous computing and embedded
    network applications. We have found that the flexibility of a
    distributed agents architecture is well suited for this application
    domain, enabling us to easily build applications and to reconfigure our
    systems on the fly. Hive enables us to make our environment and network
    more alive.

       * Excerpts from the Societal-scale Information Systems (SISs)
         $170M Pledged by Silicon Valley companies to support the Center for
         Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society
         (CITRIS), however, almost all of it contingent on $100 million in
         matching state funds proposed over the next three years in the
         Governor's 2001-02
         < http://www.citris.berkeley.edu/cisi_proposal.html >

    3.1 System Reliability (Henzinger)
    "Concerns over IT system reliability increase with society ’s reliance
    on these systems. This is true for IT systems from implanted medical
    devices to societal-scale infrastructure like the power grid, air
    traffic, financial markets, and all the SISs discussed here. While
    functionality, speed, and availability may dominate the headlines about
    new IT systems, their success will ultimately depend on reliability.
    Reliability includes safety, predictability, fault tolerance, and real
    time. Safety means that a system never exhibits crashing or other
    undesirable behavior. Predictability means that system behavior is
    determined by the behavior of the environment; any interaction with the
    system leads to reproducible results. Fault tolerance means that a
    system degrades gracefully when under attack or extreme stress,or when
    hardware fails. Real time means that a system meets the response-time
    requirements; for example, flight control software must offer timely
    best-effort results, not take extra time to compute optimal results.

    Software lies at the heart of reliability concerns.The PITAC report
    says, “The Nation currently depends on software that is fragile,
    unreliable,and extremely difficult and labor-intensive to develop, test,
    and evolve. Our ability to construct the needed software systems and our
    ability to analyze and predict the performance of the enormously complex
    software systems
    that lie at the core of our economy are painfully inadequate.” Highly
    publicized recent software failures include the Ariane 5 rocket
    explosion,but even more telling is our inability to complete software
    projects with complex reliability requirements,such as the
    next-generation air traffic control system or the Taurus software for
    the London Stock Exchange. A main reason for software quality problems
    is inadequate design and analysis methodologies. Unlike traditional
    engineering disciplines, where mathematics is used to predict system
    behavior at design time (e.g.bridge construction), for systems with
    complex software components no comparable tools are available for
    analytically predicting behavior. As a consequence,current practice
    tries to ensure the desired degree of reliability largely by a mix of
    system testing and over-engineering. Testing is costly,as errors are
    detected — if at all — only late in the design cycle;over-engineering is
    costly,as the resulting designs are suboptimal. For example, the cost of
    software and system integration and test for the Boeing 777 surpassed
    the sum of all other development costs. Thus, besides the present
    dangers of catastrophic software failures, the economics of software
    development make software quality research highly relevant
    to local industry.

    To increase software reliability without increasing cost or lowering
    efficiency, we propose three research directions. These require basic
    research followed by collaboration on industrial scale software, which
    will be supported by CITRIS. More than 10 UCB faculty currently work on
    software reliability.

       * First, we can immediately impact engineering practice by developing
         principled system design methods.
       * Our second goal is the analytical prediction of the behavior of
         complex software designs.
       * Third, perhaps most speculatively but also with greatest potential
         impact on large-scale system design, we plan to develop a science
         of constructing reliable systems from unreliable components.

    "In the world we envision,sensors and actuators in unprecedented numbers
    will need to compute, analyze, and communicate over a broad geographic
    range. They will need to be integrated through pervasive computational
    and storage abilities to collect, organize, and infer events to enable
    the kinds of proactive services we have described above. The degree of
    openness and composability of such services is unprecedented, requiring
    highly evolved capabilities for finding services,determining their
    trustworthiness, and enabling their interoperation. What is needed is a
    common “information utility ” providing the framework for reliable,
    available, discoverable, and interoperable services. This must leverage
    a computational and storage platform that can scale both in terms of
    processing volumes and geographical reach. No single service provider
    can construct the whole system of such size and scale:the ability to
    construct large complex systems that are reliable and trusted, with
    stringent performance requirements in a multiple service provider and
    developer environment is essential.

    Illuminating how to build such future systems is at the core of CITRIS
    ’s initial research agenda. In the years ahead, we expect the research
    agenda to evolve. CITRIS will continue to identify and address grand
    challenge research problems directed toward improving the quality of
    life for people throughout the state, the nation, and the world."

    For more info, please download the CITRIS proposal

    Jack Park wrote:

    > FYI...
    > >From: "Luis Rocha" <rocha@lanl.gov>
    > >To: <gbrain@listserv.vub.ac.be>
    > >Subject: towards a decentralized adaptive web
    > >Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 15:17:38 -0600
    > >Organization: Los Alamos National Laboratory
    > >X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.50.4522.1200
    > >Sender: owner-gbrain@listserv.vub.ac.be
    > >Reply-To: gbrain@listserv.vub.ac.be
    > >X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by
    > >web22a.topchoice.com id OAA00771
    > >
    > >The following small article describes some of the work in adaptive
    > web
    > >technology we have been developing at Los Alamos. It is written by
    > the
    > >director of the Research Library:
    > >
    > >Evolution and scientific literature: towards a decentralized adaptive
    > web
    > >http://www.nature.com/nature/debates/e-access/Articles/luce.html
    > >
    > >Cheers,
    > >Luis
    > >______________________________________________________
    > >
    > >Luis Mateus Rocha
    > >Complex Systems Research
    > >Modeling, Algorithms, and Informatics Group (CCS-3)
    > >Los Alamos National Laboratory, MS B256
    > >Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
    > >T: 505-665-5328 Fax: 505-667-1126
    > >e-mail: rocha@lanl.gov or rocha@santafe.edu
    > >www: http://www.c3.lanl.gov/~rocha
    > >______________________________________________________
    > >I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it
    > >______________________________________________________
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