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Incremental Dynamic Updates with First-class Contexts

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Proceedings (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2012
Author Wernli Erwann, Lungu Mircea, Nierstrasz Oscar,
Project Synchronizing Models and Code
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Proceedings (peer-reviewed)

Title of proceedings TOOLS Europe 2012
DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-30561-0_21

Open Access


Highly available software systems occasionally need to be updated while avoiding downtime. Dynamic software updates reduce downtime, but still require the system to reach a quiescent state in which a global update can be performed. This can be difficult for multi-threaded systems. We present a novel approach to dynamic updates using first-class contexts, called Theseus. First-class contexts make global updates unnecessary: existing threads run to termination in an old context, while new threads start in a new, updated context; consistency between contexts is ensured with the help of bidirectional transformations. We show how first-class contexts offer a practical and flexible approach to incremental dynamic updates, with acceptable overhead.