changes its behavior in response to external feedback it receives
during operation. The feedback can come from human users or external
world that the software system operates in. Changes to behavior
can be implemented in a number of ways - from adjusting some parameters
to changing the structure.
We are pursuing a control
theory based approach to self-controlling software. Central to our
approach is the assumption that software is treated as a plant.
This is similar to other control applications where a plant is identified
first and then controllers are added at design time. We view the
plant as a dynamical system with dynamics related to both the external
environment and the computing system.
Control theory has developed
a number of concepts that are relevant to self-controlling software,
like the concepts of stability, controllability, observability and
We first described the
control theory based approach to self-controlling software in 1997
presented a more complete description of this approach in IEEE Intelligent
and published some results of experiments in the Journal of Systems
and Software [EracarKokar2000].
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