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Complex Distributed Systems: The Need for Fresh Perspectives

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNConference contribution/Paper

Published
Publication date2/07/2018
Host publicationProceedings of the 38th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems
PublisherIEEE
Pages1410-1421
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781538668719
Original languageEnglish
Event38th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 2/07/20185/07/2018
http://icdcs2018.ocg.at/

Conference

Conference38th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleICDCS
CountryAustria
CityVienna
Period2/07/185/07/18
Internet address

Publication series

Name2018 IEEE 38th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS)
PublisherIEEE
ISSN (Electronic)2575-8411

Conference

Conference38th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleICDCS
CountryAustria
CityVienna
Period2/07/185/07/18
Internet address

Abstract

Distributed systems are at a watershed due to their increasing complexity. The heart of the problem is the extreme level of heterogeneity exhibited by contemporary distributed systems coupled with the need to be dynamic and responsive to change. In effect, we have moved from distributed systems to systems of systems. Following on from this, middleware is also at a watershed. The traditional view of middleware is no longer valid (i.e. as a layer of abstraction, masking the complexity of the underlying distributed system and providing a high-level programming model). In practice, middleware is often by-passed with complex systems constructed in a rather ad hoc manner as a mash-up of a variety of technologies. The end result is that middleware is no longer sure of its form or purpose and this lack of a viable approach is a huge barrier to the emergence of areas such as smart cities and emergency response systems. This paper argues that there is a need to fundamentally rethink the middleware landscape related to complex distributed systems. The core contribution of the paper is a set of fresh perspectives, which lead us in turn to novel principles and patterns for middleware and subsequently to new styles of platform. These perspectives include a move to emergent middleware, seeking flexible meta-structures for distributed systems, and a step away from generic to domain-specific technologies. A number of case studies are also presented to demonstrate what this might mean for future distributed systems.

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©2018 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.