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Dagstuhl Seminar 23082

Resilient Software Configuration and Infrastructure Code Analysis

( Feb 19 – Feb 24, 2023 )

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Please use the following short url to reference this page: https://www.dagstuhl.de/23082

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Motivation

According to a recent survey study, configuration errors were reported to be the largest fraction of failures in storage systems. In general, errors originating from infrastructure and their configurations are one of the major causes of system failures, resulting in security vulnerabilities, application outages, and incorrect program executions. Current research focuses on investigating the root cause of these errors and remedies to them, from different perspectives. Approaches are emerging to manage the complexity of infrastructure and configuration, covering a breadth of forms, such as domain specific languages, standalone verification tools, automated learning techniques, specification-based synthesis, security annotation extensions, and configuration optimizers.

These new research directions in the field of configuration analysis impose the challenge of finding a synergy between theory, tools, and interface design. Our goal is to gain a better understanding of the theoretical foundations that will enable reasoning about configuration and infrastructure code. Some of the key high-level challenges to be addressed include

  • Infrastructure and Configuration Code Maintenance and Evolution
  • Configuration Summaries and Optimization
  • Specification Learning and Mining
  • Infrastructure and Configuration Testing and Verification
  • Infrastructure and Configuration Repair

This Dagstuhl Seminar will reflect on the perspectives of the different communities involved in configuration analysis, including the systems, programming languages, and verification communities, as well as the software industry at large. The seminar will serve as a venue to find common language and concepts to discuss open problems and potential future research directions. Additionally, we seek to facilitate collaboration between the underlying theory of configuration analysis and practitioners who drive the conversation from an industrial perspective.

The overarching goal is the advance of state of the art and practice of infrastructure and configuration code from a holistic software engineering perspective and build a community of practice around the topic of configuration analysis. To meet this goal, we will focus on bridging research groups and forging new conversations between various academic sub-disciplines and industrial perspectives. As a newly-forming community, we first need to understand the challenges that have been identified in each of the existing fields. Next, our goal is to define a research agenda that finds synergies between the fields. The shared knowledge that will be built during this seminar will be captured in a report, that can act as a body of knowledge for researchers within the space of software configuration and infrastructure code analysis.

Copyright Jürgen Cito, Ruzica Piskac, Mark Santolucito, Andy Zaidman, and Yuanyuan Zhou

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Classification
  • operating systems
  • programming languages / compiler
  • software engineering

Keywords
  • configuration
  • computing infrastructure
  • program analysis