Subsidiarity and Weak Coupling in Wireless Networks
We propose the subsidiarity and weak coupling principles for developing the sixth generation (6G) self-organizing wireless networks. The principles are common in social sciences and control theory, respectively. This proposal leads to organizing the network as a hierarchy of interacting rational agents with vertical and horizontal weak coupling. The central agent provides a performance goal and constraints to the lower level agents that operate almost autonomously in this multi-agent system. The system has various favorable properties, including stability, reliability, and efficiency. Present self-organizing networks are usually distributed without any centralized controller. The lack of a common externally given goal may lead to low performance, staggering behavior, or even chaotic situations. In communications, each transmitter can be interpreted as a rational lower level agent. A principle resembling subsidiarity, the locality principle, is used, for example, in cellular automata, systolic arrays, and edge computing. Subsidiarity is also a solution for the tragedy of the commons where common resources are overused because the costs are divided equally among the users, often with some significant delay. We also provide a historical review that shows each idea’s origin because different disciplines use different terminology for similar concepts. Understanding the origins can reduce fragmentation and enhance scientific progress.