To compete or cooperate? This is the question in communities of autonomous services

Ehsan Khosrowshahi Asl, Jamal Bentahar, Rabeb Mizouni, Babak Khosravifar, Hadi Otrok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Frameworks for aggregating similar services into structures called communities have been recently advocated. A common assumption in those frameworks is that residing services are coopetitive, i.e.; competing over received requests, but also cooperating, for instance in terms of substituting each other. In this coopetition context, deciding to compete or cooperate at different moments in time is an open question yet to be addressed. The contribution of this paper is the answer to this challenging question by proposing a game-theoretic-based decision mechanism that services can use to effectively choose competition or cooperation strategies that maximize their payoffs. To achieve this objective, we investigate autonomous services' characteristics and their expected utilities over different strategies. We propose a game-theoretic best response technique to measure the threshold that services can use in order to decide about the two strategies. We prove that the proposed decision mechanism is efficient and can be implemented in time linear in the length of the time period considered for the analysis and the number of services in the community. Moreover, we conduct extensive simulations to analyze various scenarios and confirm the obtained theoretical results. Those results show that our model outperforms existing competitive and random coopetitive strategies and the more services deviate from our game-theoretic-based coopetitive strategy the more they make less benefits.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)4878-4890
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Agent-based services
  • Best response technique
  • Decision making
  • Game theory
  • Strategies


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