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A preliminary formalism for variable coupling in agile systems

Redding, Guy Matthew (2006) A preliminary formalism for variable coupling in agile systems. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

It is generally the case that corporate information systems consist of heterogeneous software subsystems that interact using many various processes and protocols. Applications that execute within such subsystems tend to be designed in isolation with little or no thought given to the requirements for future interaction. To provide bridges between these heterogeneous subsystems, one-off "hacked" solutions are usually introduced which rely upon maintenance of the status quo for all aspects of the execution environment and are thus inherently "brittle". Such a situation is inappropriate for large-scale and highly decentralised system deployments.

In order to make such systems more robust and exhibit scalable performance characteristics, it is preferable to construct them with the ability to react to changes in the environment that they operate within. This research seeks to provide a method of how to engender "agility" into system components to improve their ability to deal with unpredictable environments. Our approach is to view systems and components from an interactive perspective and provide a middleware mechanism that enables a "variable" degree of coupling between system components. To achieve this we introduce three high-level "dimensions" of coupling, namely mediation, adaptation and crystallisation. Each dimension is characterised by the location of behaviour required for interaction and patterns of behaviour movement. The coordination characteristics of these dimensions of coupling are specified to establish a separation of coordination and application functionalities in endogenous distributed systems. The outcomes of this research project are: a definition for the dimensions of coupling that have been identified, a protocol to perform transitions between dimensions and a preliminary framework for the development of more agile applications.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 16243
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Milliner, Stephen& Elms, Kim
Keywords: information system, heterogeneous software, agility
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Schools > School of Software Engineering & Data Communications
Department: Faculty of Information Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Guy Matthew Redding
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 13:59
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2011 05:45

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