With the sharp increase in heterogeneity and distribution of elements in wide-area networks, more flexible, efficient and autonomous approaches for management and information distribution are needed. This paper proposes a novel approach, based on gossip protocols and firefly synchronisation theory, for the management policy distribution and synchronisation over a number of nodes in an Application Level Active Network (ALAN). The work is presented in the context of the IST project ANDROID (Active Network Distributed Open Infrastructure Development), which is developing an autonomous policy-based management system for ALAN. The preliminary simulation results suggest that with the appropriately optimised parameters, the algorithms developed are scalable, can work effectively in a realistic random network, and allow the policy updates to be distributed efficiently throughout the active network with a lower latency than other similar types of gossip protocols.
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