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Coordination for Synchronous Cooperative Systems Based on Fuzzy Causal Relations

Authors: Luis A. Morales Rosales, Saul E. Pomares Hernandez, Gustavo Rodriguez Gomez


Synchronous cooperative systems (SCS) bring together users that are geographically distributed and connected through a network to carry out a task. Examples of SCS include Tele- Immersion and Tele-Conferences. In SCS, the coordination is the core of the system, and it has been defined as the act of managing interdependencies between activities performed to achieve a goal. Some of the main problems that SCS present deal with the management of constraints between simultaneous activities and the execution ordering of these activities. In order to resolve these problems, orderings based on Lamport-s happened-before relation have been used, namely, causal, Δ-causal, and causal-total orderings. They mainly differ in the degree of asynchronous execution allowed. One of the most important orderings is the causal order, which establishes that the events must be seen in the cause-effect order as they occur in the system. In this paper we show that for certain SCS (e.g. videoconferences, tele-immersion) where some degradation of the system is allowed, ensuring the causal order is still rigid, which can render negative affects to the system. In this paper, we illustrate how a more relaxed ordering, which we call Fuzzy Causal Order (FCO), is useful for such kind of systems by allowing a more asynchronous execution than the causal order. The benefit of the FCO is illustrated by applying it to a particular scenario of intermedia synchronization of an audio-conference system.

Keywords: Event ordering, fuzzy causal ordering, happenedbefore relation and cooperative systems

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