ARM 2020

19th Workshop on Adaptive and Reflexive Middleware

December 8th, 2020, Delft, The Netherlands

Held in conjunction with ACM/IFIP Middleware 2020

The Adaptive and Reflective Middleware (ARM) workshop series started together with the ACM/IFIP/USENIX International Middleware Conference, with which it has been co-located every year since this first edition in 2000. This year, we intend to follow on the success of over two decades of this event, providing researchers with a leading-edge view on the state of the art in adaptive middleware and the engineering of adaptive and autonomous distributed systems, as well as fostering an exciting environment for cooperation among researchers to address the challenging problems that remain unsolved.

Originally, adaptive and reflective middleware was motivated mainly by resource-constrained devices and mobile computing. Nowadays, the evolution of adaptive middleware technologies is driven by new classes of large-scale distributed, pervasive and resilient applications for multi and hybrid cloud, Internet of Things, smart cities, intelligent transportation, smart grids, Blockchain networks, resilient supply chains, remote healthcare, among others.

Applying reflective techniques to open-up the implementation of middleware and related software platforms for interoperability, one-to-many deployment, and adaptability have proved particularly successful and influential in the past. However, there are still open challenges mainly related to scalability, heterogeneity and decentralized management, as well as resilient and autonomous real-time operations.

Following the trend in recent editions, the ARM workshop will bring together experts involved in designing and reusing adaptive systems at different layers, including application architecture, OS, virtualization technology and network. We are also interested in work exploring abstractions and techniques for adaptation that are complementary to reflection.

This year we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ARM workshop, and as part of the program we will also have invited position papers from key contributors over the years providing a broad perspective on the past, present and future of adaptive systems.

Call for papers TXT and PDF



Tuesday, December 8th

(schedule in CET - Central Europe Time)

16:00-16:15 - Opening session - Shangping Ren (San Diego State University), Renato Cerqueira (IBM Research)

Session: Models & Applications
chair: Shangping Ren, San Diego State University

16:15-16:45 - Featured Talk: Gul Agha, UIUC
Adaptative Software in a Pervasive Cyberspace

16:45-17:45 - Panel I

  • Carolyn Talcott, SRI
  • Aniruddha Gokhale, Vanderbilt University
  • Yu Jiang, Tsinghua University

17:45-18:00 - break

Session: New Technologies
chair: Renato Cerqueira, IBM Research

18:00-18:30 - Featured Talk: Nikil Dutt, UC Irvine
Computational Self-awareness and Self-organization: A Paradigm for Building Adaptive, Resilient Computing Platforms

18:30-19:30 - Panel II

  • Abhishek Dubey, Vanderbilt University
  • Christoph Hagleitner, IBM Research
  • Luís Veiga, INESC-ID

19:30-19:50 - break

Session: ARM Retrospective and Future Directions
chair: Nalini Venkatasubramanian, UC Irvine

19:50-20:20 - Featured Talk: Gordon Blair, Lancaster University
Twenty years of Adaptive and Reflective Middleware: A Janus Perspective

20:20-21:00 - Panel III

  • Roy H. Campbell, UIUC
  • Fabio Kon, USP
  • Fabio Costa, UFG
  • Paulo Ferreira, UiO / INESC-ID

21:00 - Final words from workshop chairs

Featured Presentations’ Abstracts

Adaptative Software in a Pervasive Cyberspace
Gul Agha
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Embedor Technologies, Inc.

Cyberphysical systems consist of software executing on networks of heterogeneous nodes with different computing, sensing and actuation capabilities interacting with the physical world. As cyberphysical systems acquire AI, software will define an intelligent pervasive cyberspace. Actors in this cyberspace will have ever evolving services with varying security and privacy requirements. They will operate in a dynamically changing environment as both available resources and the behavior of other agents changes. Actors in such a complex environment cannot execute entirely preprogrammed sequences of actions. Middleware providing autonomous monitoring capabilities and facilitating mechanisms to adapt becomes necessary. Some monitoring-and-control mechanisms will affect macro-level properties of systems, much as central banks influence the emergent properties of national economies by controlling parameters such as interest rates. Other mechanisms will mediate interactions (enforcing contracts) that affect the behavior of individual actors, and facilitate actors in adapting to their changing environment. The talk will lay out a research agenda to help us realize a reliable and robust pervasive cyberspace.

Computational Self-awareness and Self-organization: A Paradigm for Building Adaptive, Resilient Computing Platforms
Nikil Dutt
UC Irvine

Self-awareness and self-organization have a long history in biology, psychology, medicine, engineering and (more recently) computing. In the past decade this has inspired new self-aware/self-organizing strategies for building resilient computing platforms that can adapt to the (often conflicting) challenges of resiliency, energy, heat, cost, performance, security, etc. in the face of highly dynamic operational behaviors and environmental conditions. I will begin by outlining a computational self-awareness paradigm that enables adaptivity and which supports system resilience. Computational self-awareness is achieved through introspection (i.e., modeling and observing its own internal and external behaviors) combined with both reflexive and reflective adaptations via cross-layer physical and virtual sensing and actuations applied across multiple layers of the hardware/software system stack. Next I will outline strategies for combining computational self-awareness with self-organization for life-cycle management of dependable distributed computing platforms. Our ongoing NSF/DFG Information Processing Factory (IPF) project applies principles inspired by factory management that combine self-awareness and self-organization for continuous operation and optimization of highly-integrated-but-distributed embedded computing platforms. While each IPF computational component exhibits autonomy through self-awareness, collections of IPF entities can self-organize; the resulting emergent behavior must be controlled in order to ensure guaranteed service even under strict safety and availability requirements. I will outline strategies such as proactive reconfiguration to mitigate the risk of failures, self-optimization, self-identification using learning classifiers, and chip-level operation with flexible boundaries between critical and best effort regions, all guided by a self-aware planning component. The talk will conclude with the opportunities and challenges arising from adopting computational self-awareness and self-organization for making complex computational systems more resilient and self-adaptive.

Twenty years of Adaptive and Reflective Middleware: A Janus Perspective
Gordon Blair
Lancaster University

Janus is a Roman god with two faces, one looking backwards and one forwards, also used to reflect on transitions. In this talk, inspired by this mythological figure, I will both look back at 20 years of history focussing particularly on the initial workshop held in the year 2000 with its many hopes and aspirations, and also look forward to he future of adaptive and reflective middleware. In looking forward, I will draw on my current work, which is using my skills as a computer scientist to tackle grand challenges around a changing climate. Based on this experience, I will argue that principles that have been and continue to be developed in this community are of even more importance going forward given some of the grand societal challenges of our time.


Important Dates

Paper submission: September 14, 2020 (firm deadline)

Acceptance notification: October 5, 2020

Camera-ready: October 16, 2020 (firm deadline)

Workshop: December 8, 2020



Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Design and performance of adaptive and reflective middleware platforms;
  • Experiences with adaptive and reflective technologies in specific domains (e.g., sensor networks, ubiquitous/pervasive computing, mobile computing, smart and connected communities, cyber-physical systems, Internet of Things, cloud computing, P2P, Systems-of-Systems);
  • Cross-layer interactions and adaptation mechanisms, including network, OS, VM & device level techniques;
  • Adaptation and reflection in the presence of heterogeneous execution and programming paradigms;
  • Incorporating non-functional properties into middleware, including real-time, fault-tolerance, immutability, persistence, security, trust, privacy and so on;
  • Fundamental developments in the theory and practice of reflection, adaptation and control, as it relates to middleware and its interaction with other layers;
  • Techniques to improve performance and/or scalability of adaptive and reflective mechanisms;
  • Evaluation methodologies for adaptive and reflective middleware; guidelines, testbeds and benchmarks;
  • Approaches to maintain the integrity of adaptive and reflective technologies; convergence of adaptation;
  • Design and programming abstractions to manage the complexity of adaptive and reflective mechanisms;
  • Software engineering methodologies for the design and development of adaptive middleware;
  • Methods for reasoning, storing and dynamically updating knowledge about the services provided by adaptive/reflective middleware;
  • The role of AI and machine learning in the design of lifelong adaptive middleware;
  • Metrics on properties such as cost-of-adaptation, quality-of-adaptation, consistency-of-adaptation, yields.


All submissions should be made electronically through: .

Submitted and accepted papers should be no longer than 6 pages in the standard ACM format for conference proceedings.

At least one author on each accepted paper must hold a full pre-conference registration. Papers will be available in the ACM Digital Library.

We will aim to create better outreach for the papers in ARM by selecting the best papers from the workshop and inviting the authors of those papers to submit an extended and expanded manuscript (40% new material will be required for the extended manuscript) towards a publication in the SpringerNature Journal of Internet Services and Applications (pending).



Publicity Chair

Steering Comittee

  • Gordon Blair, Lancaster Univ., UK.
  • Fabio M Costa, Federal Univ of Goias, Brazil.
  • Fabio Kon, Univ. of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • Renato Cerqueira, IBM Research, Brazil.
  • Paulo Ferreira, INESC-ID, Portugal.
  • Nalini Venkatasubramanian, Univ. of California, Irvine, USA.