The ARGUGRID approach simplifies the process of providing, using and managing web/Grid services in distributed applications improving business opportunities for both service providers and service requestors. To demonstrate these benefits, the platform and methodology are currently being applied to a number of e-business application scenarios including:
Earth Observation scenario:
Information about Earth Observation services is currently accessible only in a very scattered way through different mission operators, scientific institutes, service companies, data catalogues, etc. Easier and timely access to large quantities of primary data, together with a deep knowledge of the sensors and its characteristics, is needed for delivering effective services.
A system with that knowledge, able to select the best options and combine them to quickly create a tailored product, would be very appreciated in crisis scenarios.
Led by GMV, this scenario investigates two use cases, based on using a service computing model for developing satellite image acquisition and analysis application.
• Case 1: Oil Spill. This first use case describes a quite simple scenario. A user wants valid earth observation products for studying an oil spill caused by a disaster event. The user knows location and time of this oil spill.
The large number of satellites complicates the decision. Moreover, a deep knowledge of the sensors and its characteristics is needed. A system with that knowledge, and able to select the best option, would be very appreciated in crisis. Using the ARGUGRID system, a non-expert user could get useful information in an easy and quick way.
• Case 2: Fire Detection. The second scenario case is rather more complex. It admits a higher number of variables considering, first, the fire situation in itself and, second, the possible EO sensors and imagery to be used.
Complexity is again found in the large number of possible sources for fire detection, and in the different processing required for getting fire products from each different source. The need to combine different detections with environment conditions to analyze the evolution of detected fires add more complexity to the scenario case.
A system able to analyse all the available options, select the valid sources, and dynamically create workflows that generate valid information, would enormously simplify the problem.
Led by cosmoONE, this scenario investigates two use cases based on automating decision-making processes and negotiations involving a large number of partners with specific example cases dealing with request for proposals and optimising eAuction parameters.
•Case 1: Request For Proposals. This case refers to the procedure for procuring any complex system, project, or service, from a supplier, or from a consortium of suppliers. The use case includes inviting possible suppliers, selecting two of them, asking for specific offers from these two suppliers, and evaluating the offers according to specific criteria and arguments. More specifically, the RFP is about the procurement of an e-ordering system, along with a high-speed Internet connection. It is assumed that no single vendor can supply both subsystems, and hence consortiums must be formed to submitt suitable offers.
•Case 2: Optimizing eAuctions parameters case refers to a Buyer who has determined already (with the help of certain tools) that an eAuction is appropriate for a specific procurement need. The Buyer will seek the advise of an eAuction consultant to determine the optimum eAuction setup. The eAuction consultant in turn may need additional data from the market, and for this he may ask for the services of a Market Analyst. Finally, the consultant combines his own knowledge with the data from the Market Analyst, in order to return determine the optimum eAuction type and its respective setup parameters to the Buyer.
- eBusiness Migration scenario:
Led by AIT, this scenario investigates the development of formal frameworks for modelling contracts, contract negotiation and conflict resolution that are essential in the business process for outsourcing activities illustrated in the scenario of migration of computer assembly activities.
• Argument-based contract negotiation framework: Agents are equipped with beliefs, goals, and preferences. Goals are classified as either structural if they are about static properties of items/services to be bought or contractual if they are about contractual features subject to negotiation. In order to agree on a contract, agents engage in a two-phase negotiation process: in the first phase, the buyer agent decides on (a selection of) items fulfilling its structural goals and preferences; in the second phase, the buyer agent decides on a subset of the items identified in the first phase fulfilling its contractual goals and preferences.
In the studied scenario, a negotiation between an investor and an estate manager for a land lease is divided into:
Phase 1: The investor finds suitable locations based on structural goals such as requirements about transportation, labor quality.
The ARGUGRID platform and approach offer similar benefits to other domains where the formation of virtual organisations across organisational boundaries is becoming essentials. Examples include business process outsourcing applications in pharmaceutical R&D, collaborative product design projects requiring large supply chains, etc.