Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Institute for Software Research


William Scherlis

Second Advisor

Len Bass

Third Advisor

David A. Eckhardt

Fourth Advisor

Bruce Horn


Clients of reactive systems often change their priorities. For example, a human user of an email viewer may attempt to display a message while a large attachment is downloading. To the user, an email viewer that delayed display of the message would exhibit a failure similar to priority inversion in real-time systems.

We propose a new quality attribute, attentiveness, that provides a unified way to model the forms of redirection offered by application-level reactive systems to accommodate the changing priorities of their clients, which may be either humans or systems components. Modeling attentiveness as a quality attribute provides system designers with a single conceptual framework for policy and architectural decisions to address trade-offs among criteria such as responsiveness, overall performance, behavioral predictability, and state consistency.