Meta level component-based framework for distributed computing applications

  • A.S-Y. Lai

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Adaptability for distributed object-oriented enterprise frameworks is a critical
mission for system evolution. Today, building adaptive services is a complex
task due to lack of adequate framework support in the distributed computing
environment. In this thesis, we propose a Meta Level Component-Based
Framework (MELC) which uses distributed computing design patterns as
components to develop an adaptable pattern-oriented framework for distributed
computing applications. We describe our novel approach of combining a meta
architecture with a pattern-oriented framework, resulting in an adaptable
framework which provides a mechanism to facilitate system evolution.
The critical nature of distributed technologies requires frameworks to be
adaptable. Our framework employs a meta architecture. It supports dynamic
adaptation of feasible design decisions in the framework design space by
specifying and coordinating meta-objects that represent various aspects within
the distributed environment. The meta architecture in MELC framework can
provide the adaptability for system evolution. This approach resolves the
problem of dynamic adaptation in the framework, which is encountered in most
distributed applications. The concept of using a meta architecture to produce an
adaptable pattern-oriented framework for distributed computing applications is
new and has not previously been explored in research.
As the framework is adaptable, the proposed architecture of the pattern-oriented
framework has the abilities to dynamically adapt new design patterns to address
technical system issues in the domain of distributed computing and they can be
woven together to shape the framework in future. We show how MELC can be
used effectively to enable dynamic component integration and to separate
system functionality from business functionality. We demonstrate how MELC
provides an adaptable and dynamic run time environment using our system
configuration and management utility. We also highlight how MELC will impose
significant adaptability in system evolution through a prototype E-Bookshop
application to assemble its business functions with distributed computing
components at the meta level in MELC architecture. Our performance tests show
that MELC does not entail prohibitive performance tradeoffs. The work to
develop the MELC framework for distributed computing applications has
emerged as a promising way to meet current and future challenges in the
distributed environment.
Date of AwardApr 2008
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorTony Beaumont (Supervisor)


  • component-based software
  • frameworks
  • distributed computing
  • design patterns
  • meta architecture

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