Ad-Hoc Information Spread between Mobile Devices: A Case Study in Analytical Modeling of Controlled Self-organization in IT Systems
We present an example of the use of analytical models to predict global properties of large-scale information technology systems from the parameters of simple local interactions. The example is intended as a first step towards using complex systems modeling methods to control self-organization in organic systems. It is motivated by a concrete application scenario of information distribution in emergency situations, but is relevant to other domains such as malware spread or social interactions. Specifically, we show how the spread of information through ad-hoc interactions between mobile devices depends on simple local interaction rules and parameters such as user mobility and physical interaction range. We show how three qualitatively different regimes of information ‘infection rate’ can be analytically derived and validate our model in extensive simulations.
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