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Planning for the Future Internet of Services

23 September 2010
Ex Boccherini - Piazza S. Ponziano 6 (Conference Room )
A lot of work has been done so far in the field of planning for web or software services. In this work, major tasks can be described in a planning framework: modeling of software services leads to a planning domain, their automated composition can be done by plan generation, their monitoring becomes monitoring of plan executions, and adaptation can done by re-planning. Things change radically when we move to the framework envisioned by Future Internet. One of the major promises of the vision of Future Internet is the so called "Internet of Services", where applications "live" in the network and are available to end users as "real services" are available today to consumers in everyday life. According to this vision, software services are just software components that provide electronic access to "real services" (e.g., a software service for travel booking allows us to access the actual service behind it, namely "the possibility of traveling"). "Real services" are however very different from the corresponding software services, since they differ in their main characteristics, such as their duration, their accessibility, their constraints and conflicts, and their connection with the real world, which makes them highly dynamic. This new vision requires a shift in the research approach, as well as in the corresponding planning framework: Modeling should describe how the use of real services affects their consumers; Composition does not consist anymore in the generation of a new composed service, it becomes a task that finds relations among services based on emergent needs, constraints, opportunities of the consumers; Monitoring should not check software executions but rather focus on properties of the physical environment where the real services operate; Adaptation should move from reaction to changes in software services to reaction to changes in real services, in the physical environment where they operate, and to users' behaviors. In this talk, I will first describe an approach to planning for software services, and I will then discuss some new research challenges for the future internet of services and how they are related to planning.