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Adaptation impact and environment models for architecture-based self-adaptive systems

Javier Cámara, Antónia Lopes, David Garlan and Bradley Schmerl.

In Science of Computer Programming, Special issue of the 11th International Symposium on Formal Aspects of Component Software , Vol. 127:50-75, 2016. doi:10.1016/j.scico.2015.12.006.

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Self-adaptive systems have the ability to adapt their behavior to dynamic operating conditions. In reaction to changes in the environment, these systems determine the appropriate corrective actions based in part on information about which action will have the best impact on the system. Existing models used to describe the impact of adaptations are either unable to capture the underlying uncertainty and variability of such dynamic environments, or are not compositional and described at a level of abstraction too low to scale in terms of specification effort required for non-trivial systems. In this paper, we address these shortcomings by describing an approach to the specification of impact models based on architectural system descriptions, which at the same time allows us to represent both variability and uncertainty in the outcome of adaptations, hence improving the selection of the best corrective action. The core of our approach is a language equipped with a formal semantics defined in terms of Discrete Time Markov Chains that enables us to describe both the impact of adaptation tactics, as well as the assumptions about the environment. To validate our approach, we show how employing our language can improve the accuracy of predictions used for decision-making in the Rainbow framework for architecture-based self-adaptation.

Keywords: Self-adaptation, uncertainty.  
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