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The Muse Object Architecture:

A New Operating System Structuring Concept

Yasuhiko Yokotey, Fumio Teraokay, Atsushi Mitsuzawaz,
Nobuhisa Fujinamiy, and Mario Tokoroyz

E-mail: fykt,tera,mituzawa,fnami,[email protected], fmituzawa,[email protected]

ySony Computer Science Laboratory Inc.
Takanawa Muse Building
3-14-13 Higashi-gotanda, Shinagawa-ku,
Tokyo, 141 JAPAN

zDepartment of Computer Science
Keio University
3-14-1 Hiyoshi, Kohoku-ku,
Yokohama, 223 JAPAN


A next generation operating system should accommodate an ultra large-scale, open, self-advancing, and distributed environment. This environment is dynamic and versatile in nature. In it, an unlimited number of objects, ranging from fine to coarse-grained, are emerging, vanishing, evolving, and being replaced; computers of various processing capacities are dynamically connected and disconnected to networks; systems can optimize object execution by automatically detecting the user's and/or programmer's requirements. In this paper, we investigate several structuring concepts in existing operating systems. These structuring concepts include layered structuring, hierarchical structuring, policy/mechanism separation, collective kernel structuring, object-based structuring, open operating system structuring, virtual machine structuring, and proxy structuring.

We adjudge that these structuring concepts are not sufficient to support the environment described above because they lack the abilities to handle dynamic system behavior and transparency and to control dependency. Thus, we propose a new operating system structuring concept which we call the Muse object architecture. In this architecture, an object is a single abstraction of a computing resource in the system. Each object has a group of meta-objects which provide an execution environment. These meta-objects constitute a meta-space which is represented within the meta-hierarchy. An object is causally connected with its meta-objects: the internal structure of an object is represented by meta-objects; an object can make a request of meta-computing; a meta-object can reflect the results of meta-computing to its object. We discuss object/meta-object separation, the meta-hierarchy, and reflective computing of the architecture. We then compare the Muse object architecture with the existing structuring concepts.

We also demonstrate that the Muse object architecture is suitable for structuring future operating systems by presenting several system services of the Muse operating system such as class systems, a real-time scheduler with hierarchical policies, and free-grained objects management. Class systems facilitate programming by several classes of programming languages. A real-time scheduler with hierarchical policies can meet various types of real-time constraints presented by applications. Free-grained objects management can suit the object granularity to the application, so that an object is efficiently managed according to its granularity. Finally, we present the implementation of the Muse operating system which is designed based on the Muse object architecture. Version 0.3 of the Muse kernel is running on the MC68030 based Sony NEWS workstations.