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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Self-adaptive software


An increasing number of mission-critical software systems require dependability, robustness, adaptability, and continuous availability. Self-adaptive software strives to fulfill these requirements. Self-adaptive software requires the simultaneous management of two related processes—system evolution, the consistent and reasoned application of change over time, and system adaptation, the cycle of detecting changing circumstances, planning responsive modifications, and deploying those modifications to field sites. We indicate how these two processes can be combined and coordinated in an infrastructure that supports ongoing continuous system change without requiring any downtime, rebuilds, or system restarts—all the while guaranteeing system integrity. Central to our methodology is the dominant role of software architectures in planning, coordinating, monitoring, evaluating, and implementing software adaptation. We argue that explicit system structure and representation, the separation of architecture from implementation, and the separation of communication from computation are scalable abstractions suitable for domains and adaptations of all sizes.

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