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Formal Specification and Runtime Detection of Dynamic Properties in Asynchronous Pervasive Computing Environments

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5 Author(s)
Yiling Yang ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Technol., Nanjing Univ., Nanjing, China ; Yu Huang ; Jiannong Cao ; Xiaoxing Ma
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Formal specification and runtime detection of contextual properties is one of the primary approaches to enabling context awareness in pervasive computing environments. Due to the intrinsic dynamism of the pervasive computing environment, dynamic properties, which delineate concerns of context-aware applications on the temporal evolution of the environment state, are of great importance. However, detection of dynamic properties is challenging, mainly due to the intrinsic asynchrony among computing entities in the pervasive computing environment. Moreover, the detection must be conducted at runtime in pervasive computing scenarios, which makes existing schemes do not work. To address these challenges, we propose the property detection for asynchronous context (PDAC) framework, which consists of three essential parts: 1) Logical time is employed to model the temporal evolution of environment state as a lattice. The active surface of the lattice is introduced as the key notion to model the runtime evolution of the environment state; 2) Specification of dynamic properties is viewed as a formal language defined over the trace of environment state evolution; and 3) The SurfMaint algorithm is proposed to achieve runtime maintenance of the active surface of the lattice, which further enables runtime detection of dynamic properties. A case study is conducted to demonstrate how the PDAC framework enables context awareness in asynchronous pervasive computing scenarios. The SurfMaint algorithm is implemented and evaluated over MIPA - the open-source context-aware middleware we developed. Performance measurements show the accuracy and cost-effectiveness of SurfMaint, even when faced with dynamic changes in the asynchronous pervasive computing environment.

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Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 8 )