The four key objective properties of a system that are required of it in order for it to qualify as “autonomic” are now well-accepted—self-configuring, self-healing, self-protecting, and self-optimizing—together with the attribute properties—viz. self-aware, environment-aware, self-monitoring and self-adjusting. This paper describes the need for next generation system software architectures, where components are agents, rather than objects masquerading as agents, and where support is provided for self-* properties (both existing self-chop and emerging self-* properties). These are discussed as exhibited in NASA missions, and in particular with reference to a NASA concept mission, ANTS, which is illustrative of future NASA exploration missions based on the technology of intelligent swarms.
Bibliographical noteOther Details
This paper reports on some of the activity from a visiting research position with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (2004-present) concerned with investigating Autonomic and Autonomous Systems. It specifically focuses on using autonomic/self-managing swarm approaches (ANTS-Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm) for next generation non-human exploration missions to the moon, Mars, Saturn's rings and the Asteroid Belt, examining the challenges this level of self-direction and self-management pose for future computer-based systems and architectures. This work has resulted in 7 joint (with NASA) patent-pending technologies, joint journal and book publications, and involvement in 8 NASA Autonomic related events.
- Keywords: Self-*
- Autonomous systems
- Autonomic systems
- Agent architectures
- Multi-agent technology
- Intelligent systems