Introducing Context Awareness in Unmodified, Context-unaware Software

Abstract : 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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https://hal.inria.fr/hal-01658620
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 5:23:28 PM
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Markus Raab, Gergö Barany. Introducing Context Awareness in Unmodified, Context-unaware Software. ENASE 2017 - 12th International Conference on Evaluation of Novel Approaches to Software Engineering, Apr 2017, Porto, Portugal. pp.1-8. ⟨hal-01658620⟩

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