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The authors believe that to fully support adaptive distributed applications, middleware must itself be adaptable, adaptive and policy-free. In this paper, they present a new language-independent adaptable and adaptive policy framework suitable for integration in a wide variety of middleware systems. This framework facilitates the construction of adaptive distributed applications. The framework addresses adaptability through its ability to represent a wide range of specific middleware policies. Adaptiveness is supported by a rich contextual model, through which an application programmer may control precisely how policies should be selected for any particular interaction with the middleware. A contextual pattern mechanism facilitates the succinct expression of both coarse- and fine-grain policy contexts. Policies may be specified and altered dynamically, and may themselves take account of dynamic conditions.
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