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UOA 23 - Computer Science and Informatics

Lancaster University

RA1, RA2 and RA5c: Staff and output details and Category C staff circumstances


Blair, G S - Category : A

RA2 - Research outputs:

Number of outputs: 4

Output number: 1 of 4


The Design of a Configurable and Reconfigurable Middleware Platform

Output type: Journal article
Journal title: Distributed Computing
Month/year of publication: April 2002
Pagination: 109-126
Volume: 15 (2)
ISSN: 14320452
DOI: 10.1007/s004460100064 ?
Co-authors: Clark M, Coulson G, Parlavantzas N
Other relevant details: Blair (along with his team) pioneered the use of reflection in middleware, an area that is now central to middleware both in terms of ongoing research and in architectures of commercial strength platforms. This paper lays down the foundations of applying computational reflection to middleware, also introducing the underlying reflective component technology OpenCOM and how it is used to create a configurable and reconfigurable platform, OpenORB. This is highly cited work: this journal paper has 108 citations according to Google Scholar, with preceding papers in the Middleware conference and also IEEE Distributed Systems Online having 286 and 183 citations respectively.

Output number: 2 of 4

Title The Case for Reflective Middleware
Output type: Journal article
Journal title: Communications of the ACM
Month/year of publication: June 2002
Pagination: 33-38
Volume: 45(6)
ISSN: 0001-0782
DOI: 10.1145/508448.508470 ?
Co-authors: Campbell A, Costa F, Kon F
Other relevant details: The importance of this paper is that it represents a common statement from the two leading groups in the reflective middleware community (Lancaster University and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign) on defining the field and common underlying systems principles emanating from our respective projects. This is a widely cited paper (203 citations on Google Scholar) and has significantly enhanced the dissemination and technology transfer of reflective principles, e.g. reflective and related adaptive techniques are now well established in the distributed systems community and the underlying concepts have influenced the design of contemporary middleware such as JBoss and .NET.

Output number: 3 of 4

Title ReMMoC: A Reflective Middleware to Support Mobile Client Interoperability
Output type: Conference contribution
Conference: International Symposium on Distributed Objects and Applications (DOA'03)
Month/year of publication: 01/11/2003
Number of pages: 1170-1187
Media of output:
ISSN: 3-540-20498-9
DOI: 10.1007/b94348 ?
Co-authors: Grace P, Samuel S
Other relevant details: The novelty of this paper is the combined use of reflection and principles of self-management to enable middleware to self-configure to the current context. In particular, a mobile client, using the techniques in this paper, can adapt itself to service discovery protocols and interaction paradigms as discovered in the local environment. This was the first paper to identify and offer solutions to this key aspect of heterogeneous systems; many researchers are now addressing mobile heterogeneity, particularly related to service discovery, and ReMMoC is very much a ubiquitous reference in such papers (49 citations on Google Scholar); DOA: 25% acceptance rate.

Output number: 4 of 4

Title Deep Middleware for the Divergent Grid
Output type: Conference contribution
Conference: ACM/IFIP/Usenix International Conference on Middleware (Middleware'05)
Month/year of publication: 01/11/2005
Number of pages: 334-353
Media of output:
ISSN: 0302-9743
Co-authors: Coulson G , Grace P, Porter B
Other relevant details: This paper demonstrates how reflective principles can have a major impact on the configurability, re-configurability and general flexibility of Grid middleware, also introducing a novel approach to the integration of the important concept of overlays into contemporary Grid/ web service based middleware (both represent significant UK contributions to the greater Grid community). The software has been released via sourceforge with over 380 downloads placing it in the 10% of projects overall. We also obtained a best paper award at All Hands (2006) in applying this middleware to a demanding eScience application (sensor driven flood forecasting). Acceptance rate for Middleware: 17%.