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Dynamic Context Management and Reference Models for Dynamic Self-Adaptation

Our society is increasingly demanding situation-aware smarter software (SASS) systems, whose goals change over time and depend on context situations. A system with such properties must sense their dynamic environment and respond to changes quickly, accurately, and reliably, that is, to be context-aware and self-adaptive. A relevant problem addressed in our research work is the dynamic management of context information, with the goal of improving the relevance of SASS systems' context-aware capabilities with respect to changes in their requirements and execution environment. Therefore, one of our research motivations is the investigation of dynamic context management and self-adaptivity to: (i) improve context-awareness and exploit context information to enhance quality of user experience in SASS systems [villegas11seams], and (ii) improve the dynamic capabilities of self-adaptivity in SASS systems [villegas11cascon]. Context-awareness and self-adaptivity pose significant challenges for the engineering of SASS systems. Regarding context-awareness, a first challenge is the impossibility of fully specifying environmental entities and the corresponding monitoring requirements at design-time. A second challenge arises from the continuous evolution of monitoring requirements due to changes in the system caused by self-adaptation. As a result, context monitoring strategies must be modeled and managed in such a way that they support the addition and deletion of context types and monitoring conditions at runtime. For this, the user must be integrated into the dynamic context management process. Concerning self-adaptivity, a third challenge is to control the dynamicity of adaptation goals, adaptation mechanisms, and monitoring infrastructures, and the way they affect each other in the adaptation process. This is to preserve the effectiveness of context monitoring requirements and thus self-adaptation. To address these challenges we have proposed several contributions [villegas13phd]. First, the personal context sphere concept to empower users to control the life cycle of personal context information in user-centric SASS systems [ villegas13book,villegas13dynamo]. Second, the SmarterContext ontology that supports the modeling of context information and its monitoring requirements while supporting changes in these models at runtime [tamura13book,tamura13seams]. Third, an efficient context processing engine that discovers implicit contextual facts from context information specified in changing context models [ebrahimi12cascon,munoz12cascon]. Fourth, a reference model for designing highly dynamic self-adaptive systems [villegas11cascon], for which the continuous pertinence between monitoring mechanisms and both changing system goals and context situations is a major concern.

References

[villegas13phd]Norha Villegas, ``Context management and self-adaptivity for situation-aware smart software systems'', Dissertation University of Victoria, 2013, http://dspace.library.uvic.ca:8080/handle/1828/4476.
[tamura13seams]G. Tamura, N. Villegas, H. M"uller, L. Duchien, and L. Seinturier, ``Improving Context-Awareness in Self-Adaptation using the {DYNAMICO} Reference Model'', in Proceedings 8th International I Symposium SEAMS, 2013, pp. 153--162, ACM.
[villegas13book]N. Villegas and H. M"uller, ``The SmarterContext Ontology and its Application to the Smart Internet: A Smarter Commerce Case Study'', LNCS, 2013, vol. 7855, pp. 151--184, Springer.
[villegas13dynamo]N. Villegas, H. M"uller, et al. ``{DYNAMICO}: A Reference Model for Governing Control Objectives and Context Relevance in Self-Adaptive Software Systems'', LNCS, 2013, vol. 7475, pp. 265--293, Springer.
[tamura13book]G. Tamura, N. Villegas, H. M"uller, et al., ``Towards Practical Runtime Verification and Validation of Self-Adaptive Software Systems'', LNCS, 2013, vol. 7475, pp. 108--132, Springer.
[villegas10book]N. Villegas, H. M"uller, ``Managing Dynamic Context to Optimize Smart Interactions and Services'', in Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2010, pp. 289--318.
[ebrahimi12cascon]S. Ebrahimi, N. Villegas, H. M"uller, and A. Thomo, ``SmarterDeals: A Context-aware Deal Recommendation System based on the SmarterContext Engine'', in CASCON, 2012, pp. 116--130, ACM.
[munoz12cascon]J. Mu noz, G. Tamura, N. Villegas, and H. M"uller, ``Surprise: User-controlled Granular Privacy and Security for Personal Data in SmarterContext'', in CASCON, 2012, pp. 131--145, ACM.
[villegas11seams]N. Villegas, H. M"uller, et al., ``A Framework for Evaluating Quality-driven Self-Adaptive Software Systems'', in Proceedings 6th International Symposium ICSE (SEAMS), 2011, pp. 80--89, ACM.
[villegas11cascon]N. Villegas, H. M"uller, et al., ``A Dynamic Context Management Infrastructure for Supporting User-driven Web Integration in the Personal Web'', in CASCON, 2011, pp. 200--214, ACM.