Active Streams: An approach to adaptive distributed systems

Fabian E. Bustamante, Greg Eisenhauer, Patrick Widener, Karsten Schwan and Calton Pu

College of Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
{fabianb, eisen, pmw, schwan, calton}@cc.gatech.edu


An increasing number of distributed applications aim to provide services to users by interacting with a correspondingly growing set of data-intensive network services. Such applications, as well as the services they utilize, are generally expected to handle dynamically varying demands on resources and to run in large, heterogeneous, and dynamic environments, where the availability of resources cannot be guaranteed a priori --- all of this while providing acceptable levels of performance.

To support such requirements, we believe that new services need to be customizable, applications need to be dynamically extensible, and both applications and services need to be able to adapt to variations in resource availability and demand. A comprehensive approach to building new distributed applications can facilitate this by considering the contents of the information flowing across the application and its services and by adopting a component-based model to application/service programming. It should provide for dynamic adaptation at multiple levels and points in the underlying platform; and, since the mapping of components to resources in dynamic environment is too complicated, it should relieve programmers of this task. We propose Active Streams, a middleware approach and its associated framework for building distributed applications and services that exhibit these characteristics.

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Fabian E. Bustamante
Last modified: Sat Aug 4 16:53:49 EDT 2001