Enhancing the Grid with Multi-agent and Semantic Capabilities

Enhancing the Grid with Multi-agent and Semantic Capabilities

Bastian Koller, Giuseppe Laria, Paul Karaenke, András Micsik, Henar Muñoz Frutos, Angelo Gaeta
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-113-9.ch014
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Addressing the requirements of academic end users, the Grid paradigm and its underlying technologies was in past developed and evolved neglecting the needs of potential business end users. Nowadays the trend changed towards the use of Grid technologies within electronic business (e-Business) which at the same time requires adapting existing technologies to allow for more flexible, intelligent and reliable support for business stakeholders. The BREIN project was the first one integrating two so far parallel evolving domains into the Grid, namely multi-agent and semantics. By this, the Grid was enhanced to provide the requested capabilities from business end users. This chapter will show the rationale behind the performed developments and the way how BREIN addresses its four main objectives of enabling and/or enhancing: (i) Autonomy and Automation, (ii) Self-Optimization, (iii) Context-Aware Security, (iv) Reduced Complexity of Use with a dedicated focus on the major pillars of the framework, Virtual Organizations (VOs) and Service Level Agreements (SLAs). With that, a generic solution is presented, which can be applied to a variety of distinct application areas.
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From a historic viewpoint, the Grid paradigm was introduced within the academic domain as a concept for shared resources in a collaborative manner. Thereby the assumption was taken, that involved entities have the will to share these resources most likely for free (Foster, 2002). With that, the concept of Virtual Organizations (VOs) was born (Foster, 2001), representing a concept to describe and manage organizational shared resources for the purpose of achieving a common goal.

However, with the growing pervasion of all areas of life with information technology, the traditional ways of performing business also changed with a dedicated focus on the electronic area. Therefore new technologies such as Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) or Cloud Computing were becoming of highest interest for industry. Especially the collaboration with other business players to extend the own portfolio of services is an important factor with respect to competitiveness in the market, which is in particular also a success criteria for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The BREIN project was designed at a time, when the Grid evolved towards an industrial use, but existing solutions still showed a lack of capabilities, and, at the same time, were quite too complex to allow a simple deployment of services. Therefore the approach of BREIN started from the base premise to take into account the capabilities and needs of business end users in all developments and to provide a solution, which is easy to use and maintain.

To realize this, the BREIN consortium aimed at enhancing the classical approaches by integrating concepts and technologies from the Multi-agent and Semantics domains, as these domains were identified as best candidates for enabling enhanced capabilities of the Grid. The BREIN project concentrated on four major areas of development, which needed to be covered to result in a solution fostering uptake of Grids in business. Those four areas are:

  • 1.

    Virtual Organizations as the base concept for a business Grid.

  • 2.

    Service Level Agreements (SLAs) as the underlying technology to allow for establishment and control of Quality-of-Service (QoS) agreements which are valid for business execution.

  • 3.

    Multi-agent systems and Grids as underlying technology.

  • 4.

    Semantics and Grid as underlying technology.

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