2nd International ICST Conference on Autonomic Computing and Communication Systems

Research Article

Emergent Engineering for the Management of Complex Situations

Download347 downloads
        author={Ren\^{e} Doursat and Mihaela Ulieru},
        title={Emergent Engineering for the Management of Complex Situations},
        proceedings={2nd International ICST Conference on Autonomic Computing and Communication Systems},
        keywords={Complex Systems Emergent Engineering Self-Organization Dynamical Networks Cyber-Physical Ecosystems Security Co-evolution},
  • René Doursat
    Mihaela Ulieru
    Year: 2010
    Emergent Engineering for the Management of Complex Situations
    DOI: 10.4108/ICST.AUTONOMICS2008.4856
René Doursat1, Mihaela Ulieru2
  • 1: Institut des Systèmes Complexes, CNRS and CREA, Ecole Polytechnique 57-59, rue Lhomond 75005 Paris, France +33 1 42 17 09 99. http://doursat.free.fr
  • 2: Canada Research Chair Director, Adaptive Risk Management (ARM Lab) Faculty of Computer Science University of New Brunswick +1 (506) 458-7277. http://www.cs.unb.ca/~ulieru


Ubiquitous computing and communication environments connect systems and people in unprecedented ways, but also fundamentally challenge the mindset of traditional systems engineering. Complex techno-social systems exhibit spontaneous self-organization properties, based on decentralized interactions among a multitude of agents, that have preceded our ability as human designers to fully comprehend and control them. This should prompt us to steer away from managing details and, instead, focus on establishing the generic conditions for systems to develop and evolve under our guidance. In alignment with this paradigm shift we propose a methodological framework termed emergent engineering for deploying large-scale “eNetwork” systems, and illustrate it with self-organized security (SOS) scenarios. It involves an abstract model of programmable network self-construction in which nodes execute the same code, yet differentiate according to position. We illustrate these principles on a future application to SOS pointing to how this could lead to a new type of controllable self-organization, able to dynamically co-evolve the system with its environment.