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.

Mämmelä Aarne, Riekki Jukka

A4 Article in conference proceedings

2021 Joint European Conference on Networks and Communications & 6G Summit (EuCNC/6G Summit)

A. Mämmelä, J. Riekki, "Subsidiarity and Weak Coupling in Wireless Networks", 2021 European Conference on Networks and Communications & 6G Summit (EuCNC/6G Summit), Porto, Portugal, 2021, pp. 598-603. doi: 10.1109/EuCNC/6GSummit51104.2021.9482591