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Increasing System Dependability through Architecture-based Self-repair

David Garlan, Shang-Wen Cheng and Bradley Schmerl.

In Rogério de Lemos, Cristina Gacek and Alexander Romanovsky editors, Architecting Dependable Systems, Springer-Verlag, 2003.

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One increasingly important technique for improving system dependability is to provide mechanisms for a system to adapt at run time in order to accommodate varying resources, system errors, and changing requirements. For such 'self-repairing' systems one of the hard problems is determining when a change is needed, and knowing what kind of adaptation is required. In this paper we describe a partial solution in which stylized architectural design models are maintained at run time as a vehicle for automatically monitoring system behavior, for detecting when that behavior falls outside of acceptable ranges, and for deciding on a high-level repair strategy. The main innovative feature of the approach is the ability to specialize a generic run time adaptation framework to support particular architectural styles and properties of interest. Specifically, a formal description of an architectural style defines for a family of related systems the conditions under which adaptation should be considered, provides an analytic basis for detecting anomalies, and serves as a basis for developing sound repair strategies.

Keywords: Rainbow, Self-Repair, Software Architecture.  
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