A Comprehensive Service Management Middleware for Autonomic Management of Composite Web Services-Based Processes
Zulkernine, Farhana H.
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Web services are autonomic software applications that provide specific services on the Web and are accessible through standards-based protocols and interfaces in order to ensure interoperability. Web services have gained immense popularity due to the potential of dynamically composing multiple Web services over the Internet into complex multi-organizational Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer processes. The management of such composite processes, however, poses a non-trivial problem in terms of cost and complexity due to technology growth, increasing consumer demands for service quality, and the varying Internet workload. Based on a study of the state-of-the-art and a critical assessment of the limitations of the existing solutions, we present the Comprehensive Service Management Middleware (CSMM) framework to facilitate execution of the four major tasks of client-side process management namely, service selection, negotiation of Service Level Agreement (SLA), composition and execution of the process, and monitoring and validation of SLAs. We also propose the Negotiation Broker (NB) framework for automated intelligent agent-based negotiation of Service Level Agreements (SLAs), and the Performance Monitor (PM) framework for distributed client-side monitoring and verification of SLAs. The NB expedites bilateral bargaining of SLAs in a trusted broker framework with enhanced decision algorithms to enable consumer feedback during negotiation. The PM presents a flexible and extensible trusted monitoring solution, which enables faster error detection and recovery and automatic creation of a reputation knowledge base. We explain a scenario of autonomic process management using the CSMM. We describe experiments using agent simulations on a prototype of the NB to validate our proposed policy model for business level specification of negotiation preferences, the mathematical policy mapping model, and the decision algorithms for different consumer preferences. The optimality of the negotiation results are illustrated by combined utility value of the negotiation outcomes for both parties. The experiments conducted on the proof of concept prototype of the PM show its viability, efficiency, and accuracy in distributed SLA monitoring and verification because it does not include network performance. The CSMM enables partial or complete automation of all the client-side management tasks to leverage use of Web services in business processes.