Self-Organising Coordination Systems

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Many research fields are pushing the engineering of large-scale, mobile, and open systems towards the adoption of techniques inspired by self-organisation: pervasive computing, but also distributed artificial intelligence, multi-agent systems, social networks, peer-to-peer and grid architectures exploit adaptive techniques to make global system properties emerge in spite of the unpredictability of interactions and behaviour. Such a trend is visible also in coordination models and languages, whenever a coordination infrastructure needs to cope with managing interactions in highly dynamic and unpredictable environments. As a consequence, self-organisation can be regarded as a feasible metaphor to define a radically new conceptual coordination framework. The resulting framework defines a novel coordination paradigm, called self-organising coordination, based on the idea of spreading coordination media over the network, and charge them with services to manage interactions based on local criteria, resulting in the emergence of desired and fruitful global coordination properties of the system. Features like topology, locality, time-reactiveness, and stochastic behaviour play a key role in both the definition of such a conceptual framework and the consequent development of self-organising coordination services. According to this framework, the thesis presents several self-organising coordination techniques developed during the PhD course, mainly concerning data distribution in tuple-space-based coordination systems. Some of these techniques have been also implemented in ReSpecT, a coordination language for tuple spaces, based on logic tuples and reactions to events occurring in a tuple space. In addition, the key role played by simulation and formal verification has been investigated, leading to analysing how automatic verification techniques like probabilistic model checking can be exploited in order to formally prove the emergence of desired behaviours when dealing with coordination approaches based on self-organisation. To this end, a concrete case study is presented and discussed.