Thursday, October 29, 2009

On the EASSy consortium

Back to regular work (and life -- I am trying now to contact the electrician to do some repairs in the house) after submitting the EASSy proposal for the EU project, waiting for evaluation and decisions (cometition is very tough).

Some more details about the EASSy consortium. EASSy is an acornym of: Event-based Adaptiveness of Service-based Systems. It consists of 16 partners, some of them are big commerical vendors (IBM, SAP, Software AG, Nokia Siemens Network, Siemens), some are system integrators (Thales, TXT, CITT, Corrvino), some academic/research institutes (FZI Karlsruhe, University of Trento, Aston University, National Technical University of Athens), and some public organization (Maccabi Helatchare and City of Genoa). The proposal itself is a very detailed document explaining the project approach, plan, management aspects, and planed impact. If this project is realized, I believe it will be of interest to the event processing community. Here is the proposal's abstract that explaines the idea:

The future Internet will play a major role as a medium for connecting service providers— with consumers in the supply chain (business-to-business connection), or with customers such as patients and healthcare organizations (business-to-consumer connection); thereby leading to the concept of the "Internet of Services".

Within service provision, the velocity of changing situations while maintaining the ability to adapt properly and proactively is becoming a notable factor in the ability to maintain business competitiveness, and can determine the survival of small and medium enterprises. The need to adapt arises in all areas. Examples include proactively adapting the treatment protocol for patients ("smart healthcare"), initiating changes to car-fleet delivery assignment based on travel conditions ("smart transportation"), adapting the working procedures of an emergency team in extreme conditions such as flooding ("smart emergency management"), and adjusting the plan and distribution of work between different parts of the supply chain when partial power failures occur in a specific region ("smart supply chain management").

During the past couple of years, Event-Processing Platforms have emerged as the fastest growing segment of application integration middleware (according to Gartner, Forrester, and IDC analysts). Many event producers are connected to the Internet (the "Internet of Things" phenomenon), and many business processes are instrumented to provide events from the service execution, so the combination of event processing and Internet services provides a tremendous opportunity to achieve the adaptivity described above.

The proposed EASSy project will take advantage of this opportunity and generate a solid framework that will revolutionize the capability of future Internet services to be adaptive. This framework will seamlessly provide both event processing capabilities and service adaptation capabilities. The event processing capabilities will determine when adaptation is needed, and the service adaptation capabilities will deal with the question of what adaptation should be performed, either autonomously or requiring human interaction; furthermore, the system should be accessible to business developers who do not possess programming skills.

Achieving this ambitious goal requires the project team to push the envelope beyond the current state-of-the-art and best practices, and will strive to contribute to the commercial world as well as to science in various areas, such as modelling, event processing, adaptation schemes, human-computer interaction, security, privacy, quality of service, and accountability. In addition, there are ambitious engineering challenges: to make the system function effectively and efficiently, be able to work on top of legacy systems, and deal with a variety of different types of event sources.

The EASSy consortium has built a well qualified inter-disciplinary team, which includes several world-class experts in the key research areas, as well as a strong engineering team, a test validation plan using strategic use cases, and a well established exploitation plan covering various software sectors and industry domains.

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