IMMUNE: A collaborating environment for complex system design Engineering complex systems is a testing paradigm for engineers of this century. Integration of complex systems design is accomplished through innovation, and autonomy of design agents has been recognized as the main contributor to novelty and innovation of solutions. Unfortunately, agents’ autonomy can make the design environment chaotic and inefficient. To address this dilemma of distributed versus central control in complex system design, decision support systems that enable robust collaboration amongst many design agents from different disciplines, are required. The particular characteristics of such decision support system must include immunity to catastrophic failures and sudden collapse that are usually observed in complex systems. This chapter lays the conceptual framework for IMMUNE as a robust collaborating design environment. In this environment the complexity arising from autonomous collaborations is sensed and monitored by a central unit. The collaboration complexity, which is the collective problem solving capability of the design system, is compared to the complexity of the problem estimated from simulation based techniques. In this regard IMMUNE is an artificial immune system that balances the complexity of the environment and by that increases the possibility of achieving innovative and integral solutions to the complex design problems. Agents in IMMUNE are adaptive and can change their negotiation strategy and by that can contribute to the overall capability of the design system to maintain its problem solving complexity.

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  1. Efatmaneshnik, Mahmoud; Reidsema, Carl: IMMUNE: A collaborating environment for complex system design (2009)