Principled and automated system of systems composition using an ontological architecture

Elhabbash, Abdessalam; Elkhatib, Yehia; Nundloll, Vatsala; Sanz Marco, Vicent; Blair, Gordon S. ORCID: 2024 Principled and automated system of systems composition using an ontological architecture. Future Generation Computer Systems, 157. 499-515.

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A distributed system’s functionality must continuously evolve, especially when environmental context changes. Such required evolution imposes unbearable complexity on system development. An alternative is to make systems able to self-adapt by opportunistically composing at runtime to generate systems of systems (SoSs) that offer value-added functionality. The success of such an approach calls for abstracting the heterogeneity of systems and enabling the programmatic construction of SoSs with minimal developer intervention. We propose a general ontology-based approach to describe distributed systems, seeking to achieve abstraction and enable runtime reasoning between systems. We also propose an architecture for systems that utilizes such ontologies to enable systems to discover and ‘understand’ each other, and potentially compose, all at runtime. We detail features of the ontology and the architecture through three contrasting case studies: one on controlling multiple systems in smart home environment, another on the management of dynamic computing clusters, and a third on autonomic connection of rescue teams. We also quantitatively evaluate the scalability and validity of our approach through experiments and simulations. Our approach enables system developers to focus on high-level SoS composition without being constrained by deployment-specific implementation details. We demonstrate the feasibility of our approach to raise the level of abstraction of SoS construction through reasoned composition at runtime. Our architecture presents a strong foundation for further work due to its generality and extensibility.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Science Support
ISSN: 0167-739X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: system of systems, self-adaptation, autonomous systems, ontology, runtime composition, internet of things
NORA Subject Terms: Computer Science
Date made live: 10 Apr 2024 09:11 +0 (UTC)

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