Towards a Platform for Experimentation with Dynamic Adaptation
Speaker(s) : Renato Cerqueira (PUC-Rio)
The ability to adapt computer systems without interrupting the provided services is an ever-growing necessity in many different areas of Computer Science. Indeed, almost every computer system provides means to be changed on the fly, considering that both data and instructions are usually stored in memory that can be modified. However, modifications at that level can become extremely complex and error prone in many practical situations. Therefore, current research on dynamic adaptation is more concerned with mechanisms that provide means to introduce these changes in a simple, organized and safe way.
Although many approaches have been proposed to deal with dynamic adaptation, it is unclear how to compare these approaches and in which situations one approach is better than another. Such comparison requires a better understanding of dynamic adaptation and its underpinnings, what demands more experience with dynamic adaptable systems and the mechanisms necessary to support them.
The Middleware Laboratory at PUC-Rio has been involved for some years in investigating abstractions and programming tools to develop dynamically adaptable component-based applications. As a means of evaluation, we have been developing some experiments in different application domains, such as control systems, ubiquitous computing, distributed visualization, and collaborative computer aided design.
A lesson learned from these experiments is that the current middleware technology already provides several mechanisms to support dynamic adaptation at the application level, but more suitable abstractions and programming tools are fundamental to help using and understanding these mechanisms, and therefore enabling the development of dynamic adaptable applications.
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