Collaboration at the Basis of Sharing Focused Information: the Opportunistic Networks
There is no doubt that a sharing mechanism of the information feeding the cooperation lies at the basis of any collaborative framework. While this is the keen contrivance of social computation paradigms such as ant colonies and neural networks, it also represented the Achilles’ heel of many parallel computation protocols of the eighties. In addition to computational overhead due to the transfer of the information in these protocols, a modern drawback is constituted by intrusions in the communication channels, e.g. spamming in the e-mails, injection of malicious programming codes, or in general attacks on the data communication. While swarm intelligence and connectionist paradigms overcome these drawbacks with a fault tolerant broadcasting of data – any agent has access massively to any message reaching him – in this chapter we discuss within the paradigm of opportunistic networks an automatically selective communication protocol particularly suited to set up a robust collaboration within a very local community of agents. Like medieval monks who escaped world chaos and violence by taking refuge in small and protected communities, modern people may escape the information avalanche by forming virtual communities that do not in any case relinquish most ITC (Information Technology Community) benefits. A communication middleware to obtain this result is represented by opportunistic networks.