Research Problem

The research work “Self-Assessment Mechanisms for Autonomous Systems” addresses the problem of managing large-scale systems. It aims at applying economic theories, including game theory and equilibrium analysis, in order to develop new mechanisms for tackling this problem. In particular, the potential application of markets (or market-based mechanisms) is examined to simplify the management of large-scale systems, where a large amount of information has to be exchanged. The research will provide further knowledge in the area of applying economic mechanisms for information aggregation and exchange in large-scale systems, in which existing conventional mechanisms can fail. Market-based mechanisms can be considered as an opportunity to address this problem and make those large-scale systems self-manageable and autonomous.

The designed market mechanism helps lowering the complexity of management information aggregation within a large system. It guarantees that sufficient information, which is essential for the overall efficiency of the system, is revealed between autonomous entities, while no business critical information is exposed. The mechanism enables an entity to generate an image of the status of the entire autonomous system (AS) despite incomplete knowledge about the actual status of each entity.


The goal is to implement three new potential applications of the market mechanism. The first application will be an algorithm for managing the quality of service (QoS) across different network domains. The second application will be a new fault diagnosis algorithm for a group of autonomous network elements. The third application will help coordinating Internet Exchange Points.

Potential Benefits

In addition to this, the research outcome will have the following three concrete benefits:

  • A mechanism for self-assessing and predicting the actual status of a network:Information about the status of the entire AS will be generated in the presence of incomplete knowledge about the actual status of each entity, while assuring limited information exchange between the autonomous entities.
  • A market mechanism for optimizing the allocation of resources within a large-scale system: Any interaction between different autonomous entities will be governed by a competitive equilibrium, which captures various measures of controlling resources relative to individual preferences and budgets. The proposed mechanism comprises a resource market, in which prices reflect resource availability, and this is used as a means to balance supply and demand.
  • A mechanism that secures business critical information and exchanges only a small but sufficient amount of information, including prices and resource descriptions. Since large systems are composed of autonomous entities, which optimize their own utility and are in competition with each other; the kind of information being exchanged is therefore of high importance. If business critical information is revealed by one entity, the information-receiving entity might use it in the market against the information-providing entity in order to improve or strengthen its market position.