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Durham e-Theses
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Adaptive object management for distributed systems

Woods, Ken (1995) Adaptive object management for distributed systems. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis describes an architecture supporting the management of pluggable software components and evaluates it against the requirement for an enterprise integration platform for the manufacturing and petrochemical industries. In a distributed environment, we need mechanisms to manage objects and their interactions. At the least, we must be able to create objects in different processes on different nodes; we must be able to link them together so that they can pass messages to each other across the network; and we must deliver their messages in a timely and reliable manner. Object based environments which support these services already exist, for example ANSAware(ANSA, 1989), DEC's Objectbroker(ACA,1992), Iona's Orbix(Orbix,1994)Yet such environments provide limited support for composing applications from pluggable components. Pluggability is the ability to install and configure a component into an environment dynamically when the component is used, without specifying static dependencies between components when they are produced. Pluggability is supported to a degree by dynamic binding. Components may be programmed to import references to other components and to explore their interfaces at runtime, without using static type dependencies. Yet thus overloads the component with the responsibility to explore bindings. What is still generally missing is an efficient general-purpose binding model for managing bindings between independently produced components. In addition, existing environments provide no clear strategy for dealing with fine grained objects. The overhead of runtime binding and remote messaging will severely reduce performance where there are a lot of objects with complex patterns of interaction. We need an adaptive approach to managing configurations of pluggable components according to the needs and constraints of the environment. Management is made difficult by embedding bindings in component implementations and by relying on strong typing as the only means of verifying and validating bindings. To solve these problems we have built a set of configuration tools on top of an existing distributed support environment. Specification tools facilitate the construction of independent pluggable components. Visual composition tools facilitate the configuration of components into applications and the verification of composite behaviours. A configuration model is constructed which maintains the environmental state. Adaptive management is made possible by changing the management policy according to this state. Such policy changes affect the location of objects, their bindings, and the choice of messaging system.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Thesis Date:1995
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 11:47

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