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Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2017

Introducing Context Awareness in Unmodified, Context-unaware Software

Markus Raab
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Software tends to be highly configurable, but most applications are hardly context aware. For example, a web browser provides many settings to configure printers and proxies, but nevertheless it is unable to dynamically adapt to a new workplace. In this paper we aim to empirically demonstrate that by dynamic and automatic reconfiguration of unmodified software we can systematically introduce context awareness. In 16 real-world applications comprising 50 million lines of code we empirically investigate which of the 2,683 run-time configuration accesses (1) already take context into account, or (2) can be manipulated at run-time to do so. The results show that context awareness can be exploited far beyond the developers' initial intentions. Our tool Elektra dynamically intercepts the run-time configuration accesses and replaces them with a context aware implementation. Users only need to specify contexts and add context sensors to make use of this potential.
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Dates and versions

hal-01658638 , version 1 (07-12-2017)



Markus Raab, Gergö Barany. Introducing Context Awareness in Unmodified, Context-unaware Software. 2017. ⟨hal-01658638⟩


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