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A contrasting look at self-organization in the Internet and next-generation communication networks

Alderson, David and Willinger, Walter (2005) A contrasting look at self-organization in the Internet and next-generation communication networks. IEEE Communications Magazine, 43 (7). pp. 94-100. ISSN 0163-6804. doi:10.1109/MCOM.2005.1470830.

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This article examines contrasting notions of self-organization in the Internet and next-generation communication networks, by reviewing in some detail recent evidence regarding several of the more popular attempts to explain prominent features of Internet structure and behavior as "emergent phenomena." In these examples, what might appear to the nonexpert as "emergent self-organization" in the Internet actually results from well conceived (albeit perhaps ad hoc) design, with explanations that are mathematically rigorous, in agreement with engineering reality, and fully consistent with network measurements. These examples serve as concrete starting points from which networking researchers can assess whether or not explanations involving self-organization are relevant or appropriate in the context of next-generation communication networks, while also highlighting the main differences between approaches to self-organization that are rooted in engineering design vs. those inspired by statistical physics.

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Additional Information:“©2005 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.” The authors are indebted to John Doyle for ongoing conversations regarding the HOT framework, to Lun Li for her insight and collaboration on the modeling of Internet topology, and to Steven Low for helpful discussions about the primal-dual nature of TCP/AQM. Finally, we would also like to thank the reviewers for their constructive criticism and valuable feedback.
Subject Keywords:Internet, emergent self-organization, next-generation communication network
Issue or Number:7
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:ALDieeecm05
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1044
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:09 Dec 2005
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 19:06

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