Very Large System Design: Introduction and Report

The earliest such systems, such as the telephone network and the power grid, created the need to develop operational techniques that maintained reliable operation. The development of those systems created the first theoretical and analytical models of networks, which—over 100+ years’ time—have led to new ideas in the management of large systems, including distributed networks, complex hardware, and even large groups of people. When this report topic was scheduled in mid-2009, the extent of the subject was not fully appreciated—the focus was on issues that were rapidly growing in importance in wireless networks. Because the study of large system concepts extends well beyond wireless networks, we have chosen to present this report mainly as an introduction to key concepts. We will explore additional wireless applications in future technical articles.