Cinco: Collaborative and Interoperable Computing
CINCO group research mission
The CINCO group research mission is to develop solutions for service interoperability and management of dynamically formed collaborations for increased automation of multi-party, subjective management of inter-enterprise collaborations comprising of business services.
The solutions are
- enabled by mature, open service ecosystem architecture and governance;
- supported by a global infrastructure that supports interoperability and contract-based collaboration managemetn (establishment, control and breach recovery; trust, privacy, NFP); and
- complemented with service-oriented software engineering, MDE and BPM based system composition practices.
The group develops facilities for open service ecosystems, i.e., mature environments and methods for inter-enterprise collaboration for networked business, social networks, or public organisations. This involves alignment of infrastructure services for collaboration management, service-oriented software engineering, and governance at enterprise and ecosystem levels.
The open service ecosystems provide individuals or organisations the means of composing inter-enterprise collaborations out of existing software-supported business services, and facilities to dynamically manage that collaboration during its operational time. While virtual organisation breeding environments provide tools for catching new business opportunities and facilities for jointly designing the necessary collaboration contracts, business processes, and monitoring routines, we wish to take a step further. The open service ecosystems add the goal of reacting quickly to routine opportunities by reusing the pre-designed collaboration types and adding eContracting processes with operational time renegotiation opportunities. Furthermore, the aim is to adopt new, previously unknown partners' services for scaling up the size of the ecosystem and its potential for spawning larger amounts of inter-enterprise collaborations. In addition, the open service ecosystems present ecosystem wide governance and trust-decisions subjectively done by each of the independent collaboration partners.
The design choices made in all CINCO group results reflect the following principles.
- A conceptual bridge must be built between business/social processes for collaboration management and the corresponding infrastructure support.The solutions are evaluated against both the improvement in operational time support by the infrastructure and the associated effects in the software and model production methods and tools. The operational and production time environments become merged in a large extent.
- The infrastructure services must support change management in enterprises, collaborative system evolution, and change management at the service market level. The kind of collaborations and communities created will always have the need to change and evolve; the facilities provided by computing and communication platforms will always be changing.
- We choose to use an open service market model instead of a closed strategic network environment. This is to enable especially small enterprises or individuals to increase their network in a controlled manner.
- All solutions reflect aspects of autonomy of participants, contracting, trust formation, and privacy-preservation.
The research issues studied by the CINCO group include
- eContract management infrastructure, including service discovery and selection support, contract structures and refining negotiation protocols, monitoring of contracts, and breach discovery and recovery solutions;
- service type safety support, including technical, semantic and pragmatic interoperability in federated environments; (pragmatic interoperability comprises processes, willingness (policies, norms, trust), and composability)
- reputation-based trust-management;
- privacy-preserving business transactions with a clarified bridging between business process needs and technical level solution traditions;
- service-oriented software engineering methodologies and tools, including modeling of business process aggregations, services and relaxed/semantic matching of services to process roles.
The working methods in the group combine conceptual development with prototype trials on the suggested infrastructure services and tools. In addition, formal methods and verification techniques are applied where suitable. As ways of disseminating results, case studies with enterprises are sought for.
As the impacts of the CINCO group work -- as part of the international research trend on the area -- address a global architecture, it is essential to address activities on education and research forums.
CINCO group educational mission
The CINCO group educational mission is to educate experts for
- enterprise engineering for global networked business;
- ecosystem infrastructure renewal;
- creation of tools and methodologies for developing software-based services and service systems, involving appropriate quality aspects of the services and systems;
- developing governance facilities for aligning business and computing systems.
The CINCO group provides courses, seminars, and PhD and MSc thesis advisory on the above mentioned research issues, and works toward integrating this educational program to an international curricula. The research forums include international workshops, conferences, and journal themes on the area, both for research community and for researchers and enterprises to mix.
Some background aspects
CINCO group members (and AHJO and ODCE members before that) have been involved with ODP RM (Open distributed processing reference model) standardisation work, and related research driven communities. The developed framework utilises the ODP conceptual basis, applies to it business ecosystem needs, and extends it to technical directions in order to build a consistent, sustainable environment where socio-technical collaborarions can be technically supported with automated activities as far as possible, still under the control of business direction and human decision-making on non-routine situations.
CINCO group laboratory environment