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A survey on nature‐inspired metaphors for pervasive service ecosystems

Franco Zambonelli (Dipartimento di Scienze e Metodi dell'Ingegneria, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy)
Mirko Viroli (Dipartimento di Elettronica Informatica e Sistemistica, Università di Bologna, Cesena, Italy)

International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications

ISSN: 1742-7371

Article publication date: 6 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Emerging pervasive computing scenarios require open service frameworks promoting situated and self‐adaptive behaviors, and supporting diversity in services and long‐term evolvability. This suggests adopting a nature‐inspired approach, where pervasive services are modeled and deployed as autonomous individuals in an ecosystem of other services, data sources, and pervasive devices. However, there are many possibly nature‐inspired metaphors that can be adopted, and choosing one may require a careful analysis of the pros and cons of the different metaphors. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the key requirements and desiderata for next generation pervasive computing services and associated infrastructures.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the authors introduce and critically analyze a number of natural metaphors that can be adopted to realize these concepts and survey relevant proposals in the area.

Findings

The key result of this survey is that a uniform reference architecture can be a useful guide when framing the challenges involved in the design and implementation of future self‐adaptive pervasive service ecosystems.

Originality/value

The survey in this paper, along with the proposed reference architecture, can be effective starting points towards the definition and implementation of general‐purpose nature‐inspired pervasive service ecosystems.

Keywords

Citation

Zambonelli, F. and Viroli, M. (2011), "A survey on nature‐inspired metaphors for pervasive service ecosystems", International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 186-204. https://doi.org/10.1108/17427371111172997

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited