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Technical Report

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Technical Report Number



The advent and maturation of component-based middleware frameworks have sim-plified the development of large-scale distributed applications by separating system devel-opment and configuration concerns into different aspects that can be specified and com-posed at various stages of the application development lifecycle. Conventional component middleware technologies, such as J2EE [73] and .NET [34], were designed to meet the quality of service (QoS) requirements of enterprise applications, which focus largely on scalability and reliability. Therefore, conventional component middleware specifications and implementations are not well suited for distributed real-time and embedded (DRE) ap-plications with more stringent QoS requirements, such as low latency/jitter, timeliness, and online fault recovery. In the DRE system development community, a new generation of enhanced commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) middleware, such as Real-time CORBA 1.0 (RT-CORBA)[39], is increasingly gaining acceptance as (1) the cost and time required to develop and verify DRE applications precludes developers from implementing complex DRE applications from scratch and (2) implementations of standard COTS middleware specifications mature and encompass key QoS properties needed by DRE systems. However, although COTS middleware standardizes mechanisms to configure and control underlying OS support for an application’s QoS requirements, it does not yet provide sufficient abstractions to separate QoS policy configurations such as real-time performance requirements, from application functionality. Developers are therefore forced to configure QoS policies in an ad hoc way, and the code to configure these policies is often scattered throughout and tangled with other parts of a DRE system. As a result, it is hard for developers to configure, validate, modify, and evolve complex DRE systems consistently. It is therefore necessary to create a new generation of QoS-enabled component middleware that provides more comprehensive support for addressing QoS-related concerns modularly, so that they can be introduced and configured as separate systemic aspects. By analyzing and identifying the limitations of applying conventional middleware technologies for DRE applications, this dissertation presents a new design and its associated techniques for enhancing conventional component-oriented middleware to provide programmability of DRE relevant real-time QoS concerns. This design is realized in an implementation of the standard CORBA Component Model (CCM) [38], called the Component-Integrated ACE ORB (CIAO). This dissertation also presents both architectural analysis and empirical results that demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach. This dissertation provides three contributions to the state of the art in composing systemic behaviors into component middleware frameworks. First, it illustrates how component middleware can simplify development and evolution of DRE applications while ensuring stringent QoS requirements by composing systemic QoS aspects. Second, it contributes to the design and implementation of QoS-enabled CCM by analyzing and documenting how systemic behaviors can be composed into component middleware. Finally, it presents empirical and analytical results to demonstrate the effectiveness and the advantage of composing systemic behaviors in component middleware. The work in this dissertation has a broader impact beyond the CCM in which it was developed, as it can be applied to other component-base middleware technologies which wish to support DRE applications.


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