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Artificial Immunology for Collective Adaptive Systems Design and Implementation

Capodieci, Nicola; Hart, Emma; Cabri, Giacomo


Nicola Capodieci

Giacomo Cabri


Distributed autonomous systems consisting of large numbers of components with no central control point need to be able to dynamically adapt their control mechanisms to deal with an unpredictable and changing environment. Existing frameworks for engineering self-adaptive systems fail to account for the need to incorporate self-expression—that is, the capability of a system to dynamically adapt its coordination pattern during runtime. Although the benefits of incorporating self-expression are well known, currently there is no principled means of enabling this during system design. We propose a conceptual framework for principled design of systems that exhibit self-expression, based on inspiration from the natural immune system. The framework is described as a set of design principles and customizable algorithms and then is instantiated in three case studies, including two from robotics and one from artificial chemistry. We show that it enables self-expression in each case, resulting in systems that are able to adapt their choice of coordination pattern during runtime to optimize functional and nonfunctional goals, as well as to discover novel patterns and architectures.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 24, 2016
Online Publication Date May 1, 2016
Publication Date Jul 25, 2016
Deposit Date Jun 20, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 21, 2017
Journal ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems
Print ISSN 1556-4665
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 2
Pages 1-25
Keywords Autonomic computing, artificial immune system, framework
Public URL
Contract Date Jun 21, 2017


An Artificial Immunology Inspired Approach to Achieving Self-Expression in Collective Adaptive Systems (1.1 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© ACM, 2016. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems, 11, 2, 25/07/2016

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