A Study of Feedback in Software Supported Networked Systems
The purpose of this paper is to study the concept of feedback in software supported networked devices, appliances and systems. These systems use system generated feedback signals (requests) to obtain help from external service providers/vendors during system/application emergencies and other contingencies. Similar techniques are also used to keep external entities appraised of the system’s progress and health. Future systems, including appliances, devices and complex entities operated by humans would be networked and would be allowed to interact amongst themselves as well as with service providers under well-defined specified but constrained conditions. We explore many advantages and opportunities obtainable through the use of external services triggered by feedback from the system. These services include real time maintenance, troubleshooting and diagnosing the causes of failures, recovery from failures, operational support and help, protection against security and safety infringements, congestion and conflict resolution, overload help through resource sharing etc. Currently in certain network products, a technique of reverse feedback (from the service provider to the system) is in vogue. Some networked products, namely those by Microsoft and IBM, request and receive periodic updates and revisions directly from their vendors. These functions provide the customer with better quality of service and extend the longevity of the system. These also bring the consumers closer to the product developers by suggesting future needs, opinions, improvements and refinements.