Distributed Systems and Software Engineering
With the increasing distribution of information, the miniaturisation of computing devices at growing power, and the ubiquity of network access at improving bandwidth, distributed systems are entering a dynamic and nomadic age. Software diversity and sophistication is growing with more and more ordinary users of such systems. The business person and tourist alike access relevant information through smaller and smaller devices, yesterday a desktop or laptop, today an organiser, tomorrow a smartcard or a device the size of one. Computing and information services successively disappear into the background of the ubiquitous network offering anything from zillions of smart and fast specialised services to coordinated massive distributed computing power and information systems resources marshalled as a virtual ''metacomputer''.
The relevance and cost of software development and maintenance in distributed systems has rapidly exceeded that of hardware. While everyone and everything depends on software, the lack of software, software skills, and advanced software engineering methods has become an inhibitor for progress. The demand for software exceeds the developed world's capability to produce it.
The Monash University Centre for Distributed Systems and Software Engineering (DSSE) bridges research from theoretical foundations to practical tools for the development and management of large-scale distributed systems and software in business, technology and defence.
Often, this requires a "systems" approach to modeling: socio-technical systems comprise of people, organisational constraints, procedures, rules and policies; also increasingly enterprise distributed systems cross the boundaries of departments, enterprises and nations which has to be reflected in the technical system models and implementations.