Archive for June 13th, 2011

Understanding Brain at Future Networks and Mobile Summit

Monday, June 13th, 2011 by Antonio Manzalini

This week I’ll give a talk at the Conference Future Networks and Mobile Summit (

Image taken from:

My idea is starting from the description of the scenario of future networks in the next decade, and then elaborating on the question of my last post “Which way to deal with local vs global communications exchange between a set of decentralized controllers? ” (a problem which shared also in communications in social groups, firms, and organizations).

The scenario is that, in the next decade, network communications capabilities will be embedded in any device, object and thing around us. Network itself will be highly pervasive and capable of adapting and re-configuring to satisfy dynamically changing services demands. This idea of a complex network of interacting simple elements is recalling by analogy the network of neurons in the brain.

Actually, brain network is considered the most effective natural structure for coexistence of informational processing (both segregation and integration) and communications, so why don’t try leveraging, for future networks, models, simulations and emulations results coming from researches on brain network functioning ? That’s the main objective of the presentation “Understanding Brain for Future Networks“.

In future networks, embedded communications will determine the emergence of dynamic games of (sub-)networks (owning to the same, or different Operators), particularly at the edges, which will be able to support any sort of services by leveraging local processing and storage capacities. Well, it is possible to model this the Global Workspace Theory, which is describing the emergence of human cognition. According to this theory, human cognition is emerging by the interactions of a multitude of relatively small, special purpose processes, which derive from coalitions of networks of neurons (think about sub-networks). The “Global Workspaces” are sort of common arenas where said processes compete and interact (creating and destroying coalitions), like in a dynamic game, eventually aiming at the best possible self-configuration in a certain context.

This will be very much similar in future networks! From this point of view, given a strategy of interactions (of sub-networks), it is interesting analyzing its functional dependence of certain attractors of the game dynamics. Norms for cooperation and competition can be defined as strategies that are manifested as specific attractors of game dynamics. Another consequence of this dynamic games of (sub-)networks – considered in the talk – is the potential emergence of state transitions, that might be cause of instabilities, but, at the same time, that could open new amazing approaches in network resource optimization and management.

I’ll keep you posted on the outcomes of the Conference.