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LISA '03 — Abstract

Pp. 125-148 of the Proceedings

Seeking Closure in an Open World: A Behavioral Agent Approach to Configuration Management

Alva Couch, John Hart, Elizabeth G. Idhaw, and Dominic Kallas, Tufts University


We present a new model of configuration management based upon a hierarchy of simple communicating autonomous agents. Each of these agents is responsible for a "closure": a domain of "semantic predictability" in which declarative commands to the agent have a simple, persistent, portable, and documented effect upon subsequent observable behavior. Closures are built bottom-up to form a management hierarchy based upon the pre-existing dependencies between subsystems in a complex system. Closure agents decompose configuration management via a modularity of effect and behavior that promises to eventually lead to self-organizing systems driven entirely by behavioral specifications, where a system's configuration is free of details that have no observable effect upon system
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