CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (CISD)

Department

College of Engineering and Computing

Advisor

Gregory Simco

Committee Member

Francisco Mitropoulos

Committee Member

Sumitra Mukherjee

Abstract

The concepts that make self-adaptive software attractive also make it more difficult for users to gain confidence that these systems will consistently meet their goals under uncertain context. To improve user confidence in self-adaptive behavior, machine-readable conceptual models have been developed to instrument the adaption behavior of the target software system and primary feedback loop. By comparing these machine-readable models to the self-adaptive system, runtime verification and validation may be introduced as another method to increase confidence in self-adaptive systems; however, the existing conceptual models do not provide the semantics needed to institute this runtime verification or validation. This research confirms that the introduction of runtime verification and validation for self-adaptive systems requires the expansion of existing conceptual models with quality of service metrics, a hierarchy of goals, and states with temporal transitions. Based on this expanded semantics, runtime verification and validation was introduced as a second-level feedback loop to improve the performance of the primary feedback loop and quantitatively measure the quality of service achieved in a state-based, self-adaptive system. A web-based purchasing application running in a cloud-based environment was the focus of experimentation. In order to meet changing customer purchasing demand, the self-adaptive system monitored external context changes and increased or decreased available application servers. The runtime verification and validation system operated as a second-level feedback loop to monitor quality of service goals based on internal context, and corrected self-adaptive behavior when goals are violated. Two competing quality of service goals were introduced to maintain customer satisfaction while minimizing cost. The research demonstrated that the addition of a second-level runtime verification and validation feedback loop did quantitatively improve self-adaptive system performance even with simple, static monitoring rules.

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