Special issue: Autonomic communication

Vol. 61, n° 9-10, September-October 2006
Content available on Springerlink

Guest editors
Georg Carle, University of Tübingen, Germany
Mikaël Salaun, France Télécom R&D, France
Mikhail Smirnov, FOKUS Fraunhofer-Institute, Germany


Georg Carle, Mikaël Salaun, Mikhail Smirnov

Handover management based on user’s mobility specification


LaBRI Laboratory, Université Bordeaux 1 – Unité Mixte de Recherche CNRS (UMR 5800), 351 cours de la Libération, 33405 Talence cedex, France

Abstract Considering the highly dynamic nature of wireless networks, the major challenge in this environment is the provision of QoS guarantees that different applications demand. Recent research is interested in advance resource reservation to provide the necessary QoS to the mobile terminals. Another way to obtain a better use of the resources in this environment is to determine the future locations of the mobile terminal. This paper describes a user’s mobility profile management based approach for advance resource reservation in wireless networks; it is based on the NSIS signaling. This reservation is based on an object MSPEC (Mobility Specification) which determines the future location of the mobile terminal. The mspec object is a part of a user’s mobility profile; this last is determined by the mobile terminal. Another applicability of our user’s mobility profile is in the 4G wireless systems, in this case; the mobile terminal supports various access technologies and the user’s mobility profile is used to adapt the vertical and the diagonal handover to the user’s needs.

Keywords: Mobile radiocommunication, Radiocommunication handover, Mobile station, Reservation, Telecommunication signalling, Prediction model.

Introducing a light-weight autonomic network middleware based on stigmergic mechanisms


Faculty of Engineering, University of Ulster, School of Computing and Mathematics – Newtownabbey, BT37 0QB, UK Northern Ireland

Abstract Autonomous systems are capable of performing activities by taking into account the local environment and adapting to it. No planning is necessary therefore autonomous systems have to make the best of the resources at hand. Locality in this case is no longer geographical but rather the information and applications on the boundary of the autonomic communicating element which may be distributed over a wide area. The aim of autonomous communication systems is that they exhibit self-awareness properties, in particular self-contextualisation, self-programmability and self-management. In this paper, we identify the need for autonomous systems, their architecture, the path of evolution from traditional network elements, the need for open networks and future trends within autonomic computing.

Keywords: Middleware, Autonomous system, Heterogeneity, Networking, Variability, Collective process.

Autonomous agents for autonomic networks

Thomas BULLOT*,**, Dominique GAÏTI*, Leila MERGHEM-BOULAHIA*, Guy PUJOLLE***, Hubert ZIMMERMANN**

* Institut Charles Delaunay/LM2S, CNRS FRE 2848, UTT – 12 rue Marie Curie, 10010 Troyes, France ; Thomas.Bullot  at utt.fr, Dominique.Gaiti  at utt.fr, leila.boulahia  at utt.fr
** GINKGO-Networks – 8 rue du Capitaine Scott, 75015 Paris, France ; hubert.zimmermann  at ginkgonetworks. com, thomas.bullot  at ginkgo-networks.com
*** LIP6 – UPMC – 8 rue du Capitaine Scott, 75015 Paris, France

Abstract This paper deals with a multi-agent technology as a tool to introduce an autonomic behavior in network control and management. In a first section, we describe the autonomic communication paradigm, the characteristics, and the need for new architectures. Then, we focus on the differences between a classical and an autonomic network. Some related works involving the combination of artificial intelligence and telecommunication networks are presented. Then, characteristics of agents and multi-agent systems are presented to provide the network with autonomic behavior. A specific section also analyzes the different proposals in the literature. Then, a network-oriented platform associated with agent capabilities is described. The following section presents an application of the architecture to OSPF weight setting optimization. Finally, the paper details two experiments on the OSPF weight setting applied to a small network and to a large scale network.

Keywords Autonomous systems, Telecommunication network, Artificial intelligence, Autonomous agent, Network architecture, Simulation, Networking, Multiagent system.

An approach for discovering and indexing services for self-management in autonomic computing systems

Oussama Kassem ZEIN*, Yvon KERMARREC*, Mikaël SALAÜN**

* GET/ENST Bretagne, Technopôle Brest Iroise BP 832, 29285 Brest Cedex, France
** France Telecom R&D Technopole Anticipa 22307 Lannion Cedex, France

Abstract In this paper, we present a new approach for indexing and discovering services in autonomic computing systems. We propose to describe and index a service by properties (characteristics): its static properties (like its location, its provider name, etc), its dynamic properties (behavior) and its interface (parameters, methods, etc). These three levels provide a complete vision about the service description. They can be used by clients to query and discover services. For this purpose, we propose a trader which relies on ontologies and knowledge representation to index and store the characteristics of services. The association of an ontology and knowledge representation provide a powerful combination that we will examine in the document. Our approach accomplishes fundamental goals of autonomic computing : it describes the interface and the behavior of each service so to make the service autonomic and describes how interactions among services can be established to make the system, that is, self-managing. Our approach relies on the definition of an extended trader allows services to be composed in such a way that the system as a whole is self-managing.

Keywords Autonomous system, Service, Indexing, Electronic directory, Knowledge representation, CORBA, ODP.

An architecture for autonomic security adaptation


* Computer Networks and Internet, University of Tübingen, Wilhelm-Schickard Institute – Auf der Morgenstelle 10c, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract Communication is the grounding principle of nowadays complex applications where the functionalities of the overall system are much more powerful then the ones of the isolated components. The task of keeping the communication system operable is highly critical due to the configuration complexity and the need for manual administration. Autonomous configuration mechanisms offer a compelling solution for the communication problem. We present an architecture for the autonomous configuration of secure, layer independent, endto- end connections in this paper. The Extensible Security Adaptation Framework (ESAF) separates the particularities of communication setups strictly from the communication usage by the applications. Applications are unaware of the utilized security mechanisms and the complex configuration thereof. Protocols and security primitives can be easily introduced into the system whereas others might be disabled due to vulnerabilities without the need to modify existing programs. Moreover the setup can adapt to changing environments dynamically during runtime.

Keywords: Autonomous system, Computer security, System architecture, Adpative system, Middleware.

Self-configuring communication middleware model for clusters with multiple interconnections


*The College of Information Technology, United Arab Emirates University, P.O. Box 17555, Al-Ain, UAE

Abstract Communication middleware such as MuniCluster provides high-level communication mechanisms for networked applications by hiding the low-level communication details from the applications. The MuniCluster model provides mechanisms to enhance the network performance properties through message separation and parallel transfer. However, the configurations of such services require various measurements and setups to efficiently utilize the availability of multiple network interfaces. In this paper we introduce and evaluate a selfconfiguring model that allows applications to transparently utilize the existence of multiple network interfaces and networks. Here we present enhancements to the MuniCluster model by adding the self-configuration mechanism. Using network resource discovery and deciding on how to efficiently utilize the multiple networks, the model enhances overall communications performance. The proposed techniques deal with the heterogeneity of interfaces and networks to enhance the communication performance transparent form the applications. The proposed techniques also deal with heterogeneity in the interfaces and networks in their numbers, latencies, and bandwidths.

Keywords Middleware, Networking, Star configuration, Autoadaptive system.

Adaptive middleware for autonomic systems

Steve NEELY*, Simon DOBSON*, Paddy NIXON*

* Systems Research Group, School of Computer Science and Informatics, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Abstract The increasingly dynamic nature of resource discovery and binding in modern largescale distributed and mobile systems poses significant challenges for existing middleware platforms. Future platforms must provide strong support for adaptive behaviour in order both to maintain and optimise services in the face of changing context. We use a survey of existing middleware systems to develop some core themes that characterise and constrain the ability of these approaches to support the development of adaptive and autonomic systems, and draw some possible trends for developing future platforms more appropriate to these domains.

Keywords: Middleware, Autonomous system, Adaptive system, System architecture, CORBA, Object oriented method, Peer to peer communication.

Fuzzy-Q-learning-based autonomic management of macro-diversity algorithm in UMTS networks


* France Telecom Research and Development – 38-40 rue du Général Leclerc, 92794 Issy-les-Moulineaux Cedex 9, France

Abstract Third generation UMTS network has come with significant high-quality services that considerably increase the complexity of its management. Autonomic management has been introduced to alleviate these complex lengthy tasks. In this paper, we propose an autonomic management of macro-diversity algorithm in UMTS networks. The new approach allows to dynamically adapt macro-diversity parameters to varying network situations. The online adaptation of these parameters is made by an intelligent controller called fuzzy-Q-Learning. The combination of Fuzzy Inference System (FIS) and Q-learning algorithm allows to determine the best on-line parameterization of base stations and to deal with large number of continuous states and actions. The proposed scheme improves the system capacity up to 30% compared to a classical network with fixed parameters, balances the load between base stations and minimizes human interventions in the network management. However, the reactivity of the controller should be chosen with a special care since it impacts the frequency of active set updates and hence signalling messages in the radio interface as well as in the core network.

Keywords: Mobile radiocommunication, UMTS, Network management, Autonomous system, Fuzzy logic, Machine learning, Diversity, Adjustment, Networking, Cellular network.

Behavioral network engineering: making intrusion detection become autonomic

Salvatore D’ANTONIO*, Marcello ESPOSITO***, Francesco OLIVIERO**, Simon Pietro ROMANO**, Dario SALVI*

* ITEM Laboratory, Complesso Universitario Montesantangelo, via Cinthia, 80126 Napoli, Italy.
**University of Napoli “Federico II” Via Claudio 21, 80125 Napoli, Italy.
*** CRIAI Consortium, Piazzale E. Fermi, Portici, Napoli, Italy.

Abstract In this paper we present an interesting case of what we call behavioral network engineering, i.e. an approach to optimize network operation by exploiting information about user’s behavior. Behavioral information is needed both to characterize the overall usage context of the network and to describe the specific attitudes of single users. Indeed, in a network which is autonomically managed global knowledge of the current network “situation” is of paramount importance to optimally exploit available network resources. Furthermore, in case the behavior of single individuals can significantly impact network operation, it becomes mandatory to hold more fine-grained information. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks represent an interesting example, since attack patterns can definitely be seen as particular (i.e. malicious) behaviors. To better illustrate the above concepts, we present an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) designed around the behavioral network engineering paradigm and relying on a flow monitoring system used for behavior summarization.

Keywords Intrusion detection, User behavior, Communication security, Internet security, Autonomous system, Traffic metering.

Open Topics

Mobility-awareness in group key management protocols within MANETs

Mohamed Salah BOUASSIDA*, Isabelle CHRISMENT*, Olivier FESTOR*

* MADYNES LORIA – Campus scientifique, B.P. 239, 54506 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex, France

Abstract Several sensitive applications deployed within wireless networks require group communications. A high level of security is often required in such applications, like military or public security applications. The most suitable solution to ensure security in these services is the deployment of a group key management protocol, adapted to the characteristics of MANETs, especially to mobility of nodes. In this paper, we present the OMCT (Optimized Multicast Cluster Tree) algorithm for dynamic clustering of multicast group, that takes into account both nodes localization and mobility, and optimizes the energy and bandwidth consumptions. Then, we show how we integrate OMCT within our group key management protocol BALADE, in a sequential multi-source model. The integration of BALADE and OMCT allows an efficient and fast key distribution process, validated through simulations, by applying various models of mobility (individual mobility and group mobility). The impact of the mobility model on the performance and the behaviour of the group key management protocol BALADE coupled with OMCT, is also evaluated.

Keywords: Radiocommunication, Réseau ad hoc, Multidiffusion, Gestion clé, Sécurité communication, Station mobile.

CRIM: an alert correlation and reaction module

Fabien AUTREL*, Frédéric CUPPENS*

* GET/ENST-Bretagne, Campus de Rennes, rue de la Châtaigneraie, BP 78, 35576 Cesson-Sévigné, France.

Abstract With the growing need for protection of informations systems, the intrusion detection approach is interesting but still imperfect. At the moment two main approaches exist: the behaviour based approach and the scenario detection approach. None of those two approaches is fully satisfactory. They often generate two many false positives and the generated alerts are generally too elementary and imprecise to be efficiently processed by a system administrator. An interesting approach consists in developing a cooperation module to analyze and correlate alerts, to generate a more global and synthetic diagnostic, and help the system administrator to choose the best counter-measure given a detected attack. This article presents the work we have achieved in this context to create the CRIM module (Cooperation and Recognition of Malevolent Intentions).

Keywords Computer security, Intrusion detection, Information system, Internet security, User behavior, Scenario, Cooperation.

Adaptive power control algorithm with stabilization zone for third generation mobile networks


*GET/ENST Bretagne, Campus de Rennes, rue de la Châtaigneraie, BP 78, 35512 Cesson-Sévigné cedex, France

Abstract In this paper, we propose an evolution of adaptive power control algorithms for Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS). The proposed mechanism uses an adaptive power step to carry out with high fluctuations in the radio interface. Furthermore, we propose the integration of a stabilization zone where the transmitted power is kept constant to reduce oscillations around the target QoS level. In this algorithm, only the interpretation of power control feedback commands is ameliorated by adding some intelligence to mobiles and base stations. Moreover, the standardized radio interface protocol is used without modification. The algorithm can be used in both link directions of the Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) mode and in the downlink of the Time Division Duplex (TDD) mode, where closed- loop power control algorithms are used. Simulation results show that the proposed algorithm decreases the outage probability and reduces drastically the transmitted power, which are the main objectives of power control algorithms.

Keywords: Mobile radiocommunication, Third generation mobile network, Power control, Adaptive algorithm, UMTS, Stabilization, Simulation.