Algorithmic Governance of Common-Pool Resources
* Article: ALGORITHMIC GOVERNANCE OF COMMON-POOL RESOURCES. By By Jeremy Pitt and Ada Diaconescu.
"As we saturate our everyday environment with computing and communication technologies, we can increase our capacities for successful collective action if we devise system infrastructures to support self-organization, self-management and pro-social behavior. Elinor Ostrom’s institutional design principles for managing common-pool resources provide a valuable template for designing effective Internet-based applications for algorithmic self-governance."
"Introduction: Resource Allocation in Open Systems
Using a methodology called sociologically inspired computing, researchers are now attempting to solve engineering problems by developing “formal models of social processes.” This entails examining how people behave in similar situations and, informed by a theory of that behavior grounded in the social sciences, developing a formal characterization of the social behavior (based on the theory) using mathematical and/or computational logic. This logical specification then provides the basis for the specification of an algorithmic framework for solving the original problem.
In networks that function as open systems, for example, a significant challenge is how to allocate scarce resources.
This is a vexing challenge because open computing systems and networks are formed on the fly, by mutual agreement, and therefore they may encounter situations at run-time that were not anticipated at design-time. Specific examples include ad hoc networks, sensor networks, opportunistic and vehicular networks, and cloud and grid computing. All these applications have at least one feature in common: the system components (henceforth referred to as agents) must somehow devise a means to collectivize their computing resources (processor time, battery power, memory, etc.) in a common pool, which they can then draw upon in order to achieve their individual goals in a group (or as a group) that they would be unable to do if they each functioned in isolation.
However, open systems face serious challenges in coordinating agents because there is no centralized controller-agent that is compelling other agents in the system to behave in a certain way with regards to the provision and appropriation of resources. Furthermore, all agents may be competing for a larger share of the common pool, and may therefore not comply with the requirements for “correct” (pro-social) behavior. For example, they may appropriate resources that they were not allocated, or they may appropriate resources correctly but fail to contribute expected resources (a phenomenon known as “free riding”)."