Conquering Complexity in Information Systems
The complexity of large-scale “information plants” – consisting of a number of hardware and software components – has been increasing rapidly and is fast approaching a barrier. I argue that continuous “evolution” is a key contributor to this complexity. Information plants evolve to accommodate new software functionalities, hardware technology, application and user requirements, as well as changes in operating conditions (workload, faults, etc.). Today, evolving information plants in a timely manner while maintaining desired levels of performance, stability, and security is an art; system evolution tasks are manual and intuition-based. In this talk, I will illustrate, through examples, the complexity resulting from evolution in modern information systems, and advocate a broad research agenda in computing to conquer this complexity through managed evolution.