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autonomic computing

(â´´t&-nom´ik k&m-pū´t-ing) (n.) A type of computing model in which the system is self-healing, self-configured, self-protected and self-managed. Designed to mimic the human body's nervous system-in that the autonomic nervous system acts and reacts to stimuli independent of the individual's conscious input-an autonomic computing environment functions with a high level of artificial intelligence while remaining invisible to the users. Just as the human body acts and responds without the individual controlling functions (e.g., internal temperature rises and falls, breathing rate fluctuates, glands secrete hormones in response to stimulus), the autonomic computing environment operates organically in response to the input it collects.

A leader in autonomic computing design, IBM has set forth eight conditions that define an autonomic system:

  1. The system must know itself in terms of what resources it has access to, what its capabilities and limitations are and how and why it is connected to other systems.
  2. The system must be able to automatically configure and reconfigure itself depending on the changing computing environment.
  3. The system must be able to optimize its performance to ensure the most efficient computing process.
  4. The system must be able to work around encountered problems by either repairing itself or routing functions away from the trouble.
  5. The system must detect, identify and protect itself against various types of attacks to maintain overall system security and integrity.
  6. The system must be able to adapt to its environment as it changes, interacting with neighboring systems and establishing communication protocols.
  7. The system must rely on open standards and cannot exist in a proprietary environment.
  8. The system must anticipate the demand on its resources while keeping transparent to users.

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