Section: Overall Objectives

Highlights of the Year

During this year, while we have been pursuing our research on advanced service-oriented architectures and related middleware solutions for next generation networking environments, we have made initial progress in research on several new subjects, called for by the ongoing drastic evolution of the networking environment:

  • Dynamic interoperability among networked systems towards making them eternal, by way of on-the-fly generation of connectors based on adequate system models. This research is part of a major European collaborative project within the Future and Emerging Technology program of the EC FP7-ICT (§  6.2 , §  8.1.1 ),

  • The use of Models@run.time to extend the applicability of models and abstractions to the runtime environment, arising from our anticipation that Models@run.time will play an integral role in the management of extremely distributed systems. We are exploring the use of Models@run.time to tackle the crucial problem of uncertainty in extremely distributed systems that are aware of their own requirements, as well as to support the runtime synthesis of software that will be part of the executing system (§  6.2 ).

  • Interaction paradigm abstractions and service oriented middleware for choreographies in the ultra-large scale future Internet. This research is also part of a major European collaborative project within the Software and Service Architectures and Infrastructures programme of the EC FP7-ICT (§  6.4 , §  8.1.2 ).

  • System-level support for mobile social applications, by way of a middleware architecture that involves research in the areas of semantic models for social data, mobile distributed storage, a novel policy framework for access control, and efficient, predictive data-replication on resource-constrained devices, among others (§  6.6 ).

Along with the above research, we completed the transfer of technology of our middleware technology for mobile handheld devices:

  • The Ambientic spin-off (http://www.ambientic.com/ ) was launched in early 2011. Ambientic leverages the ARLES middleware technology that has been developed over the last 10 years for supporting the development of mobile collaborative services. Ambientic specifically develops innovative mobile distributed services on top of the iBicoop middleware that allows for seamless interaction and content sharing in today's multi-* networks. The Ambientic project is winner of the Concours national d'aide à la création d'entreprises de technologies innovantes award (http://www.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/pid20162/concours-national-d-aide-a-la-creation-d-entreprises-innovantes.html ) in the Emergence category in 2009 and in the Création category in 2010.

In addition to the above, we co-organized a successful summer school on Formal Methods for Eternal Networked Software Systems, in the “SFM: International School on Formal Methods for the Design of Computer, Communication and Software Systems” series at Bertinoro, Italy. It covered topic such as connecting eternal software systems, formal foundations for connectors, dynamic connector synthesis, interaction behavior monitoring and learning, and dependability assurance of connected systems. We also co-organized FOME: Future of Middleware event at the 12th ACM/IFIP/USENIX International Middleware Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, which brought together a number of invited leading researchers in the field selected to offer comprehensive coverage of the key issues to be tacked in the near future in the area of Middleware research, such as: right abstractions for the development of future distributed systems; how to achieve interoperability and openness; and how to ensure dependability and security in the face of extremely large scale and heterogeneity in future distributed systems.