Middleware 2003

ACM/IFIP/USENIX International Middleware Conference

Rio Othon Palace Hotel

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

16-20 June 2003

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Full Paper Abstracts

Fine-grained Dynamic Adaptation of Distributed Components

Frédéric Peschanski, Jean-Pierre Briot and Akinori Yonezawa (U. of Tokyo and Paris VI)

Dynamic adaptability of distributed components, nowadays scarcely supported, should become a basic
principle of future middleware platforms. While most related work envisage somewhat large software
reconfigurations, we explore in this paper fine-grained adaptations which intervene within component
boundaries. Our experiments are conducted in the framework of the Comet middleware. Dynamic
adaptability is supported in Comet through distributed protocols that can be applied at runtime. These
protocols may locally denote intrusive modifications which are abstracted through the notion of role.
Functional roles are used to describe all-purpose adaptations. We use hook roles as wrappers around
existing functionalities. Finally, filter roles interfere with the communication layer. The expressiveness
of these complementary abstractions are illustrated in various examples involving non-trivial system
adaptations for distributed debugging and communication flow synchronization. A preliminary but
promising quantitative evaluation of our adaptation engine under real-world conditions is proposed.
We also discuss the difficult but crucial issue of verifying such dynamic adaptations in term of type,
access and security contracts.

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