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Zhongshan Zhang, Keping Long, Jianping Wang and Falko Dressler, "On Swarm Intelligence Inspired Self-Organized Networking: Its Bionic Mechanisms, Designing Principles and Optimization Approaches," IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, vol. 16 (1), pp. 513–537, February 2014.


Inspired by swarm intelligence observed in social species, the artificial self-organized networking (SON) systems are expected to exhibit some intelligent features (e.g., flexibility, robustness, decentralized control, and self-evolution, etc.) that may have made social species so successful in the biosphere. Self-organized networks with swarm intelligence as one possible solution have attracted a lot of attention from both academia and industry. In this paper, we survey different aspects of bio-inspired mechanisms and examine various algorithms that have been applied to artificial SON systems. The existing well-known bio-inspired algorithms such as pulse-coupled oscillators (PCO)-based synchronization, ant- and/or bee-inspired cooperation and division of labor, immune systems inspired network security and Ant Colony Optimization (ACO)-based multipath routing have been surveyed and compared. The main contributions of this survey include 1) providing principles and optimization approaches of variant bio-inspired algorithms, 2) surveying and comparing critical SON issues from the perspective of physical layer, Media Access Control (MAC)-layer and network-layer operations, and 3) discussing advantages, drawbacks, and further design challenges of variant algorithms, and then identifying their new directions and applications. In consideration of the development trends of communications networks (e.g., large-scale, heterogeneity, spectrum scarcity, etc.), some open research issues, including SON designing tradeoffs, Self-X capabilities in the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Long Term Evolution (LTE)/LTE-Advanced systems, cognitive machine-to-machine (M2M) self-optimization, cross-layer design, resource scheduling, and power control, etc., are also discussed in this survey.

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Zhongshan Zhang
Keping Long
Jianping Wang
Falko Dressler

BibTeX reference

    author = {Zhang, Zhongshan and Long, Keping and Wang, Jianping and Dressler, Falko},
    doi = {10.1109/SURV.2013.062613.00014},
    title = {{On Swarm Intelligence Inspired Self-Organized Networking: Its Bionic Mechanisms, Designing Principles and Optimization Approaches}},
    pages = {513--537},
    journal = {IEEE Communications Surveys \& Tutorials},
    issn = {1553-877X},
    publisher = {IEEE},
    month = {2},
    number = {1},
    volume = {16},
    year = {2014},

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