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Analyzing, modeling and predicting organizational effects in a distribuited sensor network


The organizational design of a distributed system defines how entities act and interact to achieve local and global objectives. We describe how a system employing different types of organizational techniques has been used to address the challenges posed by a distributed sensor network environment. The high-level, multi-agent architecture of this realworld system is given in detail, and we provide empirical results demonstrating the effects the organization has on the system’s performance across several different metrics. As with any design, the particular approach that is employed makes trade-offs, some of which are obvious and some more subtle. The presence of such trade-offs motivates the need for a better understanding of precisely how the organization influences large and small-scale behaviors. To address this need, we first demonstrate how a collection of analytic models can be developed to predict such effects. This experience is then used to ground the presentation of a more comprehensive, domain-independent organizational modeling language called ODML. The structure and capabilities of ODML are explained through the construction of a unified model of our sensor network organization. We then show that this model provides an accurate prediction of the original empirical results.


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This material is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centers Program under NSF Award No. EEC-0313747. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Effort also sponsored in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Air Force Research Laboratory Air Force Materiel Command, USAF, under agreement number F30602-99-2-0525. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright annotation thereon. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Air Force Research Laboratory or the U.S. Government.

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Horling, B., Lesser, V. Analyzing, modeling and predicting organizational effects in a distribuited sensor network. J Braz Comp Soc 11, 9–26 (2005).

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