IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2018 - 16

form of ever-expanding pattern
catalogs, which can still be useful
comprehensible form with context
The solution proposed
even when incomplete.
information, such as its applicability conditions, known probby this article is a
Patterns in Cyberspace
lems, and other related patterns
pattern-oriented
Cyberpatterns are the patterns found
◆ specify patterns formally in a
within cyberspace. As they are so
machine-readable, unambiguapproach that aims
ubiquitous, this prompts the applious form using an appropriate
at bridging the gap
cation of the pattern-oriented re formalism
between
data-based
search methodology to the study of
◆ validate patterns to ensure
cyberspace. Here, we discuss both
they correspond to what was
machine learning and
the scope of the research and the
intended
reusable
knowledge.
core research questions to be ad◆ name patterns to enlarge the
dressed. This provides a road map
vocabulary of discourse so
for future research.
that patterns as fragments of a
As discussed previously, cyberdomain knowledge can be gradspace is a complex subject domain with many phenomena
ually accumulated and integrated into a theory
that can be observed, recorded, and detected as patterns.
◆ classify or categorize patterns to clarify their relationHere are some areas in which patterns have already been
ships and enable humans to understand them
studied by researchers in various research communities.
◆ investigate the interactions between patterns so that
Patterns can be found in
complicated phenomena can be recognized and nontrivial applications delivered
◆ user behavior in accessing various Internet applications so that abnormal behavior can be spotted as part
◆ devise mechanisms for detecting pattern occurrences
of intruder detection
and predicting their instances in a dynamic system
and evolving world
◆ environmental data, as collected through sensors and
smart devices, to improve energy efficiency, operation◆ facilitate the instantiation of patterns when a circumal effectiveness, and other qualities associated with
stance of a particular pattern is required.
the Internet of Things
The pattern-oriented research methodology attempts to
answer all of these questions systematically and in a disci◆ the normal workload of a cluster of computers, servplined way that aims to link data analysis and machine
ers, or Internet services, to improve system perforlearning to reusable, testable, verifiable and transferable
mance and efficiency through load balancing and
knowledge. This methodology builds on more than 20
power management
years of research on software design patterns (see [5] for
◆ abnormal workload variations to detect system failthe most cited work). That research has led to a patternures and malicious attacks on the system
oriented software design method, which is now a common
◆ network traffic, since noticing that the activities of
practice, despite the elusive nature of software design. In
some users are time- and date-dependent makes optigeneral, patterns are self-contained encapsulations of the
mization possible
knowledge of a complex subject domain. A methodology
◆ social networks, such as the Small World and Power
based on patterns, in view of previous experience with
Law of scale-free networks and the propagation of sosoftware design, would therefore likely have the succeedcalled fake news.
ing benefits.
Other kinds of patterns include
◆ Patterns act as highly comprehensible and learnable
◆ attack patterns: the regularities observed in the
documentation for human users.
dynamic characteristics of the techniques used by
hackers to attack a resource on the Internet
◆ Patterns can be tested relatively easily, validated, and
formally specified, independently of other patterns.
◆ security design patterns: similar to software design
patterns but applied to the mechanisms used to pre◆ Pattern applicability can be easily recognized.
vent, detect, and mitigate security attacks [6], [7]
◆ Patterns can be flexibly combined in a manner that is
formally defined and performed by applying operators
◆ vulnerability patterns: patterns in the vulnerabilities
that obey algebraic laws.
of these security mechanisms, though they are not
usually described as patterns in the literature
◆ Pattern instantiation and detection can be assisted by
automated tools, as can reasoning about the relation◆ digital forensic patterns: the guidelines for investigatship between patterns.
ing various types of digital computer crime.
In addition, interactions between patterns are another
Much research effort has gone into identifying patterns
important part of domain knowledge, which may also be
in individual subject domains. Existing techniques for this
formally defined. Patterns make it possible to incrementalinclude knowledge engineering, statistical data analyly develop a complete picture of the subject domain in the
sis, data mining, and machine learning. However, from
◆ document patterns in a human-

16

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