Monday, July 23, 2007

Scale and Self-Organization

Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, knows a thing or two about implementing large-scale distributed SOA. So it's worth taking seriously when he tells us that

"For any truly scalable agile environment, self-organization is essential."

In his post Reading References, he goes on to recommend some papers and books on scalability and self-organization.
My own favourite book on self-organization remains Kevin Kelly's book Out of Control, now available online on KK's website. See also the entry on Self-Organization in Principia Cybernetica.

If we accept that self-organization can be effective for addressing some classes of complex problem, next step is to develop practical methods for engineering self-organizing systems. There are some promising research projects in this area, and there's a conference in Leibzig in September (SOAS 2007). I probably won't have time to attend the conference myself, but I shall look out for the proceedings. I wonder whether Amazon will be represented?

No comments: