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  1. Chapter 1: Introduction
  2. Chapter 2
    1. Mobile computing and adaptation
    2. Mobile computing
    3. The need for functionality adaptation
    4. Summary
  3. Chapter 3
    1. component-based technology
    2. What is a component ?
    3. Component-based development
    4. Current component technologies
    5. Summary
  4. Chapter 4
    1. Current software distribution approach
    2. Dynamic component composition
    3. The sparkle mobile computing environment
    4. Summary
  5. Chapter 5
    1. Facet based programming
    2. Object-oriented programming and facet-based programming
    3. Developing a facet-based program
    4. Summary
  6. Chapter 6
    1. Motivation
    2. Testbed
    3. Timing analysis
    4. Performance analysis
    5. Image processing application
    6. Evaluation
    7. Summary
  7. Chapter 7
    1. Web-services vs facet model
    2. Transparency of adaptation
    3. The facet model and adaptability
    4. Context awareness
    5. Applicability of the facet model
    6. Security issue
    7. Sparkle architecture
    8. Summary
  8. Conclusion

Nothing could be truer than the fact that all things are flowing ? everything is under constant change. Even in the field of computing, we are witnessing great changes right before our eyes. When it first began, computing was limited to huge machines operated by scientists in research laboratories. At present, computing covers a lot more devices, such as PCs, laptops, and are used by a lot more people, even by those who don't have any technical background.

With the millennium, there is an advent of a new computing environment. Computing is no longer limited to a ?computer? per se. You see more and more different types of devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDA's) and mobile phones, taking advantage of wireless networks to connect to the Internet to provide some sort of services to the user.

The trend towards mobile computing should not be ignored. Like every other computing paradigm, mobile computing has its features and limitations. However, what sets it apart from the other paradigms is the amount of change it is affected by. Everything, from devices used, to resources available, to network bandwidths, to user context, can change drastically at run-time. From a computing environment's perspective, we could say that things in mobile computing flow more quickly and in more directions than traditional computing environments.

It, therefore, becomes imperative for software systems and applications to be able to adapt to changes, in order to provide a suitable and relatively stable working environment for users. Various adaptation techniques have been previously explored ? from lower-level techniques of dynamically changing routing information, to changing fidelity (i.e. quality) of data. However, dynamically changing how an application carries out its functionality, functionality adaptation has not been sufficiently explored, in the context of mobile computing. Techniques do exist; however, with limited flexibility and adaptive capability.

[...] We wanted to investigate whether the delay in retrieving the facets from the network in the context of such an application can be considered acceptable by the user TESTBED The Sparkle client system is built on Java. Thus, every client system requires a Java Virtual Machine. The size of the class files of the Sparkle system is 252KB, not including the dom4j XML parser which is actually 2.4 MB. When installed together as a jar file which is compressed, the client system and the parser comes up to 630KB. [...]

[...] Often an analogy between software components and hardware components in integrated circuits is brought up. Just as how a modem can be made by assembling different IC components and wiring them together, similarly, software systems can be built by wiring together different software components. Software components, hence, have become commercial-off the shelf (COTS) products. This chapter provides a brief overview of current component-based technology. We first define what a component is. Then we describe the stages involved in carrying out component-based development. [...]

[...] The basic philosophy is as follows: Software and applications are made up of components. The components are assembled at run-time as they are required. Which components are used to achieve a certain functionality depend on the current execution environment. Under different run-time conditions, different components will be used, hence achieving functionality adaptation. These components are brought, either from dedicated servers or from near-by peers. They are then linked to the run-time system and executed. Once the components are used, they are unlinked from the run-time system and thrown away, achieving memory efficiency. [...]

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