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Communications of the ACM


Above the Line, Below the Line

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People working above the line of representation continuously build and refresh their models of what lies below the line. That activity is critical to the resilience of Internet-facing systems and the principal source of adaptive capacity.

Imagine all the people involved in keeping your Web-based enterprise up and running suddenly stopped working. How long would that system continue to function as intended? Almost everyone recognizes the "care and feeding" of enterprise software systems requires more or less constant attention. Problems that require intervention crop up regularly—several times a week for many enterprises; for others, several times a day.


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