SMScom will develop a consistent, integrated, and homogeneous set of methods and tools for the design, validation, and operation of dependable self-managing situational software, i.e., software that addresses a particular situation, problem, or challenge, and behaves according to the evolving situation in which it operates. Examples of situations are: the type of user (its preferences, its knowledge, ...), the physical environment (the current location of the executing environment), the time at which the application is executed, the device on which it runs, environmental conditions (like temperature, light, ...). We assume that situational changes are frequent, or even continuous, and require adaptation as the application is running and offering a service. This requires the software to be able to self-manage itself via a control loop that propagates the sensed information about situation to changes in the software structure. Several examples of situational applications already exist, and several research directions are already being explored. We argue, however, that at this stage most efforts are ad-hoc, and we miss a coherent global picture. We know how to deal with specific problems, but we lack general methods. SMScom is a holistic approach to self-managing situational computing. The term computing stresses the fact that our work will be rooted into an underlying theory of the field, upon which we wish to develop unified engineering methods and tools to develop dependable self-managing situational software applications. SMScom is a far-looking software engineering research project, which aims at providing a sound and systematic approach to developing practical and useful products. As any far-looking engineering research, it is expected to provide radical innovations. Radical innovations come in two flavors: by pushing some emerging requirements to their extreme and by revisiting through them in a radical manner the way we today develop and operate software.
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