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Orchestrating the Dynamic Adaptation of Distributed Software with Process Technology

Valetto, Giuseppe

Software systems are becoming increasingly complex to develop, understand, analyze, validate, deploy, configure, manage and maintain. Much of that complexity is related to ensuring adequate quality levels to services provided by software systems after they are deployed in the field, in particular when those systems are built from and operated as a mix of proprietary and non-proprietary components. That translates to increasing costs and difficulties when trying to operate large-scale distributed software ensembles in a way that continuously guarantees satisfactory levels of service. A solution can be to exert some form of dynamic adaptation upon running software systems: dynamic adaptation can be defined as a set of automated and coordinated actions that aim at modifying the structure, behavior and performance of a target software system, at run time and without service interruption, typically in response to the occurrence of some condition(s). To achieve dynamic adaptation upon a given target software system, a set of capabilities, including monitoring, diagnostics, decision, actuation and coordination, must be put in place. This research addresses the automation of decision and coordination in the context of an end-to-end and externalized approach to dynamic adaptation, which allows to address as its targets legacy and component-based systems, as well as new systems developed from scratch. In this approach, adaptation provisions are superimposed by a separate software platform, which operates from the outside of and orthogonally to the target application as a whole; furthermore, a single adaptation possibly spans concerted interventions on a multiplicity of target components. To properly orchestrate those interventions, decentralized process technology is employed for describing, activating and coordinating the work of a cohort of software actuators, towards the intended end-to-end dynamic adaptation. The approach outlined above, has been implemented in a prototype, code-named Workflakes, within the Kinesthetics eXtreme project investigating externalized dynamic adaptation, carried out by the Programming Systems Laboratory of Columbia University, and has been employed in a set of diverse case studies. This dissertation discusses and evaluates the concept of process-based orchestration of dynamic adaptation and the Workflakes prototype on the basis of the results of those case studies.

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Academic Units
Computer Science
Publisher
Department of Computer Science, Columbia University
Series
Columbia University Computer Science Technical Reports, CUCS-022-04
Published Here
April 25, 2011
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