Enabling adaptability in service aggregates using transparent shaping techniques

Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor's Name

S. Masoud Sadjadi

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Raju Rangaswami

Third Advisor's Name

Masoud Milani

Fourth Advisor's Name

Malek Ajouadi

Fifth Advisor's Name

Peter J. Clarke

Date of Defense



Distributed applications are exposed as reusable components that are dynamically discovered and integrated to create new applications. These new applications, in the form of aggregate services, are vulnerable to failure due to the autonomous and distributed nature of their integrated components. This vulnerability creates the need for adaptability in aggregate services. The need for adaptation is accentuated for complex long-running applications as is found in scientific Grid computing, where distributed computing nodes may participate to solve computation and data-intensive problems. Such applications integrate services for coordinated problem solving in areas such as Bioinformatics. For such applications, when a constituent service fails, the application fails, even though there are other nodes that can substitute for the failed service. This concern is not addressed in the specification of high-level composition languages such as that of the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL).

We propose an approach to transparently autonomizing existing BPEL processes in order to make them modifiable at runtime and more resilient to the failures in their execution environment. By transparent introduction of adaptive behavior, adaptation preserves the original business logic of the aggregate service and does not tangle the code for adaptive behavior with that of the aggregate service.

The major contributions of this dissertation are: first, we assessed the effectiveness of BPEL language support in developing adaptive mechanisms. As a result, we identified the strengths and limitations of BPEL and came up with strategies to address those limitations. Second, we developed a technique to enhance existing BPEL processes transparently in order to support dynamic adaptation. We proposed a framework which uses transparent shaping and generative programming to make BPEL processes adaptive. Third, we developed a technique to dynamically discover and bind to substitute services. Our technique was evaluated and the result showed that dynamic utilization of components improves the flexibility of adaptive BPEL processes. Fourth, we developed an extensible policy-based technique to specify how to handle exceptional behavior. We developed a generic component that introduces adaptive behavior for multiple BPEL processes. Fifth, we identify ways to apply our work to facilitate adaptability in composite Grid services.



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