A Survey on Nature-inspired Metaphors for Pervasive Service Ecosystems

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Franco Zambonelli, Mirko Viroli
International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications 7(3), pages 186-204

Purpose - Emerging pervasive computing scenarios require open service frameworks promoting situated and self-adaptive behaviors, and supporting diversity in services and long-term evolvability. This suggests adopting a nature-inspired approach, where pervasive services are modeled and deployed as autonomous individuals in an ecosystem of other services, data sources, and pervasive devices. However, there are many possibly nature-inspired metaphors that can be adopted, and choosing one may require a careful analysis of the pros and cons of the different metaphors. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the key requirements and desiderata for next generation pervasive computing services and associated infrastructures.

Design/methodology/approach - In this paper, the authors introduce and critically analyze a number of natural metaphors that can be adopted to realize these concepts and survey relevant proposals in the area.

Findings - The key result of this survey is that a uniform reference architecture can be a useful guide when framing the challenges involved in the design and implementation of future self-adaptive pervasive service ecosystems.

Originality/value - The survey in this paper, along with the proposed reference architecture, can be effective starting points towards the definition and implementation of general-purpose nature-inspired pervasive service ecosystems.

keywordsContext-aware computing, Ecosystems, Metaphors, Middleware, Nature-inspired approaches, Pervasive computing, Self-organization