Analyzing latency-aware self-adaptation using stochastic games and simulations

Javier Camara Moreno, Gabriel A. Moreno, David Garlan, Bradley Schmerl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Self-adaptive systems must decide which adaptations to apply and when. In reactive approaches, adaptations are chosen and executed after some issue in the system has been detected (e.g., unforeseen attacks or failures). In proactive approaches, predictions are used to prepare the system for some future event (e.g., traffic spikes during holidays). In both cases, the choice of adaptation is based on the estimated impact it will have on the system. Current decision-making approaches assume that the impact will be instantaneous, whereas it is common that adaptations take time to produce their impact. Ignoring this latency is problematic because adaptations may not achieve their effect in time for a predicted event. Furthermore, lower impact but quicker adaptations may be ignored altogether, even if over time the accrued impact is actually higher. In this article, we introduce a novel approach to choosing adaptations that considers these latencies. To show how this improves adaptation decisions, we use a two-pronged approach: (i) model checking of Stochastic Multiplayer Games (SMGs) enables us to understand best- and worst-case scenarios of optimal latency-aware and non-latency-aware adaptation without the need to develop specific adaptation algorithms.However, since SMGs do not provide an algorithm to make choices at runtime, we propose a (ii) latency-aware adaptation algorithm to make decisions at runtime. Simulations are used to explore more detailed adaptation behavior and to check if the performance of the algorithm falls within the bounds predicted by SMGs. Our results show that latency awareness improves adaptation outcomes and also allows a larger set of adaptations to be exploited.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23
JournalACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2016


  • Latency
  • Latency-aware
  • Proactive adaptation
  • Stochastic multiplayer games

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