Distributed redundancy and robustness in complex systems

Martin Randles, David J. Lamb, Enas M. Odat, Azzelarabe Taleb-Bendiab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The uptake and increasing prevalence of Web 2.0 applications, promoting new large-scale and complex systems such as Cloud computing and the emerging Internet of Services/Things, requires tools and techniques to analyse and model methods to ensure the robustness of these new systems. This paper reports on assessing and improving complex system resilience using distributed redundancy, termed degeneracy in biological systems, to endow large-scale complicated computer systems with the same robustness that emerges in complex biological and natural systems. However, in order to promote an evolutionary approach, through emergent self-organisation, it is necessary to specify the systems in an 'open-ended' manner where not all states of the system are prescribed at design-time. In particular an observer system is used to select robust topologies, within system components, based on a measurement of the first non-zero Eigen value in the Laplacian spectrum of the components' network graphs; also known as the algebraic connectivity. It is shown, through experimentation on a simulation, that increasing the average algebraic connectivity across the components, in a network, leads to an increase in the variety of individual components termed distributed redundancy; the capacity for structurally distinct components to perform an identical function in a particular context. The results are applied to a specific application where active clustering of like services is used to aid load balancing in a highly distributed network. Using the described procedure is shown to improve performance and distribute redundancy. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-304
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Computer and System Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Theoretical Computer Science


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