Utility theory offers an elegant and powerful theoretical framework for design and analysis of autonomous adaptive communication networks. Routing of messages in such networks presents a real-time instance of a multi-criterion optimization problem in a dynamic and uncertain environment. In this paper, we incrementally develop a set of heuristic decision functions that can be used to guide messages along a near-optimal (e.g., minimum delay) path in a large network. We present an analysis of properties of such heuristics under a set of simplifying assumptions about the network topology and load dynamics and identify the conditions under which they are guaranteed to route messages along an optimal path. The paper concludes with a discussion of the relevance of the theoretical results presented in the paper to the design of intelligent autonomous adaptive communication networks and an outline of some directions of future research.
Registration: ISBN 978-0-262-51091-2