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This work describes and empirically evaluates the middleware platform of a new network architecture called the Bio-Networking Architecture. The Bio-Networking Architecture is inspired by the observation that the biological systems (e.g., bee colonies) have already developed mechanisms necessary to achieve future network requirements such as autonomy, scalability, adaptability, and simplicity. In the Bio-Networking Architecture, a network application is implemented as a group of distributed, autonomous and diverse objects called cyber-entities (CEs) (analogous to a bee colony consisting of multiple bees). Each CE implements a functional service related to the application and follows simple behaviors similar to biological entities (e.g., reproduction and migration). In the Bio-Networking Architecture, beneficial application characteristics (e.g., autonomy, scalability, adaptability, and simplicity) arise from the autonomous interaction of CEs. The middleware platform in the Bio-Networking Architecture, the bionet platform, provides reusable software components for developing, deploying, and executing CEs. The components abstract low-level operating and networking details, and implement high-level runtime services that CEs use to perform their services and behaviors. The components in the bionet platform are designed based on several biological concepts (e.g., energy exchange and pheromone emission). This work describes key designs of the bionet platform and empirically demonstrates that the bionet platform is efficient, scalable, reusable, and significantly simplifies development of network applications.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2005