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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A design framework for Internet-scale event observation and notification


There is increasing interest in having software systems execute and interoperate over the Internet. Execution and interoperation at this scale imply a degree of loose coupling and heterogeneity among the components from which such systems will be built. One common approach to designing distributed, loosely-coupled, heterogeneous software systems is a structure based on event generation, observation and notification. The technology to support this approach is well-developed for local area -networks, but it is ill-suited to networks on the scale of the Internet. Hence, new technologies are needed to suppoort the construction of large-scale, event-based software systems for the Internet. We have begun to design a new facility for event observation and notification that better serves the needs of Internet-scale applications. In this paper we present results from our first step in this design process, in which we defined a framework that captures many of the relevant design dimensions. Our framework comprises seven models - an object model, an event model, a naming model, an observation model, a time model, a notification model, and a resource model. The paper discusses each of these models in detail and illustrates them using an example involving an update to a Web page. The paper also evaluates three existing technologies with respect to the seven models.

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