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Human Factors in Self-Adaptive Socio-Technical Systems

Most of the software systems today can be treated as the so-called socio-technical systems, in which human, organization, hardware and software components work in tandem to fulfill stakeholder requirements. These systems operate under uncertainty as components fail, humans act in unpredictable ways, and the environment of the system changes. Therefore, self-adaptation has been an essential capability of socio-technical systems and human factors play an important role in it [fu12re]. Human factors in self-adaptive socio-technical systems can be considered from different perspectives. By considering human as expert of business, design and IT infrastructure, we need to capture human expertise at different layers as knowledge bases of runtime adaptation and establish some kinds of multi-layered control and feedback loops at runtime [peng12jss, chen11re]. By considering human as system user, a socio-technical system needs to monitor and learn the changing and personalized quality requirements of individual users and adapt based on the learned user quality requirements. By considering human as component, we can consider human as a part of human architecture, which interacts with software architecture and can also be adapted at runtime. By considering human as agent, we need to support the multi-agent nature of socio-technical systems and consider to adapt each agent and its social collaborations to better achieve its goals by its own capabilities and social collaborations with others. Human factors from the above perspectives and others need to be considered together with software techniques such as reconfigurable software architectures to better support self-adaptation in socio-technical systems.

References

[peng12jss]X. Peng, B. Chen, Y. Yu, and W. Zhao, ``Self-tuning of software systems through dynamic quality tradeoff and value-based feedback control loop,'' Journal of Systems and Software, vol. 85, no. 12, pp. 2707--2719, 2012.
[fu12re]L. Fu, X. Peng, Y. Yu, J. Mylopoulos, and W. Zhao, ``Stateful requirements monitoring for self-repairing socio-technical systems,'' in emph{20th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference}, 2012, pp. 121--130.
[chen11re]B. Chen, X. Peng, Y. Yu, and W. Zhao, ``Are your sites down? Requirements-driven self-tuning for the survivability of Web systems'', in RE, 2011, pp. 219--228.