Reflections on Developing Adaptive Systems Software
Paul Grace, Lancaster University, UK
Highly complex systems-of-systems are emerging to address the requirements of pervasive computing; these are composed of geographically remote systems that use a variety of platforms, networks (e.g. mobile ad-hoc, sensor networks, large-scale fixed networks) and devices (e.g. mobile phones to clusters) to deliver services that cross platform and system administration boundaries. A key feature of these systems is that the operational environment changes over time (e.g. user mobility, context change, etc.). Hence, system-wide approaches are required to support and manage dynamic adaptation to cope with potentially unanticipated or emergent behaviour.
This talk discusses the role of reflective middleware in being ideally placed to meet these challenges. First, the evolution of adaptation infrastructure is presented i.e. the need to support an increasing number of viewpoints of system software composition through meta-object protocols (e.g. components and aspects), and the need to co-ordinate adaptation across nodes. Second, I describe the work being carried out by the next generation middleware group at Lancaster in developing middleware solutions for systems-of-systems. This includes: i) domain engineering approaches for middleware domains (including multicast and service discovery), ii) interoperable middleware, and iii) modelling tools to ease the development of adaptive systems.
The talk covers work carried out at both Lancaster University and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.