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The pursuit of computational justice in open systems

Abstract

Many open networks, distributed computing systems, and infrastructure management systems face a common problem: how to distribute a collectivised set of resources amongst a set of autonomous agents of heterogenous provenance. One approach is for the agents themselves to self-organise the allocation of resources with respect to a set of agreed conventional rules; but given an allocation scheme which maps resources to those agents and a set of rules for determining that allocation scheme, some natural questions arise—Is this allocation fair? Is the allocation method effective? Is it efficient? Are the decision makers accountable? In this paper, we argue that some answers to these questions can be found in the formal characterisation of different aspects of ‘justice’ and that these different aspects need a principled operationalisation as policies for system management. We present a formal model and some experimental results, concluding that the different aspects are all inter-connected and that what is required is a comprehensive research programme in computational justice.

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Acknowledgments

We are particularly grateful for the constructive comments of the four anonymous reviewers. The second and third authors both hold Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowships.

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Correspondence to Jeremy Pitt.

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Pitt, J., Busquets, D. & Riveret, R. The pursuit of computational justice in open systems. AI & Soc 30, 359–378 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00146-013-0531-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00146-013-0531-6

Keywords

  • Multi-agent systems
  • Self-organisation
  • Resource allocation
  • Computational justice