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In next generation systems and networks, the incorporation of mechanisms achieving robust, predictable and self-adaptive behavior with minimum cost will be a key requirement. Towards this goal, the authors introduce the notion of the "Self-growing network". The latter, in its initial deployment stage, is limited to a single dedicated purpose (energy-efficient networking, spectrum efficient communications, control and surveillance use, etc) but can evolve/grow into a multi-purpose, versatile infrastructure, that serves a broader range of applications by utilising combinations of self-x and cooperating features. The self-growing network paradigm considers mechanisms for energy efficient interaction of the wireless network elements and mechanisms for the reliable and efficient evolvement towards later lifecycle phases.
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