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Using Architectural Models at Runtime: Research Challenges

David Garlan and Bradley Schmerl.

In Proceedings of the European Workshop on Software Architectures, St. Andrews, Scotland, May 2004.

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One crucial aspect of high quality software engineering is the development of a welldefined software architectural model. Despite advances in using software architectural models to clarify system design, there remains the problem of determining whether the system as implemented has the architecture as designed? One approach is to to this is to monitor the running system and translate observed events to events that construct and update an architectural model that reflects the actual running system. One can then compare this dynamically-determined model to the correct architectural model. Discrepancies can be used to flag implementation errors, or, possibly, to effect run-time adaptations to correct certain kinds of flaws.At Carnegie Mellon University, our research group has been investigating the use of system monitoring and reflection using architectural models. In the process of exploring this area we have identified a number of significant research challenges. In this paper we outline our experience, and use that as a way to lay out an agenda for architecture-based approaches to system monitoring and system self-repair.

Keywords: Autonomic Systems, Dynamic Configuration, Self-Repair, Software Architecture.  
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