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Autonomous and collaborating cyber-physical systems

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A.F. Lier,van, | Article | Publication date: 22 November 2018
The term “autonomy” comes from the Greek roots “autos” and “nomos”, which mean “self” and “law” respectively. This survey paper investigates the concept of autonomy in connection with the development of cyber-physical systems. The concept of autonomy refers to a form of self-regulation or self-government of individual or collaborating systems. An autonomously operating system will need to be able to recognise and differentiate itself among other systems to be able to function on different levels. To be able to increase systems' autonomy, they need self-configuring, self-optimising, self-healing, and self-protecting capabilities. By developing such capabilities, systems will be able to adapt to changes that emerge from within them or in their environment. Networking these systems subsequently allows them to communicate and interact with each other, ultimately enabling them to jointly make decisions. This kind of joint decision making potentially amplifies the autonomy of the whole of interconnected systems in the performance of joint activities.

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