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Network and Communication Technologies

Software Technologies (ST)

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Complex Software Systems and Self-Properties

Welcome to the homepage of the Complex Software Systems and Self-Properties. Complexity has become one of the key research issues in our unit . Complexity is a property generally associated to large, distributed systems. It is revealed as the difficulty to predict certain types of behaviours, or errors, that result at global system level from the interaction between their components. In our case, we want to manage the complexity of software systems themselves and the software services built upon these systems. We also want to provide specific software for dealing with physical complex systems (e.g. as in P2P networks). Finally, we want to master the complexity, and possibly take advantage, of the emergent behavior that arises when we software engineer systems from their components. Software imbued with self-properties (of adaptation, flexibility, robustness and evolvability) could be a natural solution for the engineering of these complex systems.

What is new?

  • We are working towards a "Core Competencies" document in the area of Complexity and Self-Properties in Software. The documents regarding the State of the art , Key challenges and relevant technologies/disciplines have been sent for comments. We invite our constituency to actively participate in the elaboration of these documents.

Complex systems of many interacting parts with possibly explainable but unpredictable global behaviour are here, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. Software platforms should be able to provide flexible, robust, adaptable and possibly evolvable architectures and methodologies for these systems and their resulting services. Read more

Why Complex Systems and Self-properties?

We are reaching the point of not being able to manage our systems. This applies to both physical (hardware and software) and pure software systems; we are not able to manage big software systems and we are not, either, able to write proper software that could manage real physical complex systems. We hear of many examples of system failures that could not be predicted or "had not been taken into account". More

The vision: 'Pervasive, seamless and humane software'

In the future software will write itself, it will be part of the tissue of our society as electricity is now; we will no longer worry about it and we will take it for granted. Many systems will be controlled by software without human intervention. These systems will interact with us in a "humane" way.

Wish list: 'Self-writing software, self-managing systems'

One possible solution is to make software robust, adaptable, flexible and adaptable; with self-managing properties and substituting the human operator in lots of menial tasks. An important part of Software systems will display complex behaviour; tools and methodologies are needed to manage this complexity, either hiding it from the user or taking advantage of it.

What can be done: 'Research and validation in complex software systems'

To promote basic research, devise principles, methodologies and a toolbox for the design, management, simulation and visualization of complex software systems. To validate these on specific industrial settings and applications including the user as part of the complex system. To software robust, adaptable, flexible and adaptable.

Key research issues: 'Technical, Practical and Social'
Key technologies involved:

In order to deal with the key research issues we will have to involve a series of technologies and disciplines. The need for multi-disciplinary collaboration is clearly justified by looking at the detailed list , where systems can be physical, software or services.

With whom: 'The desired constituency'
Status and recent developments: 'What we have done so far'
Internal activities: 'Reports, projects, events'
External activities: 'Reports, papers, projects, events, journals and centres'

Contact: José-Luis Fernández-Villacañas Martín
(email removed)