Web Services Communities: From Intra-Community Coopetition to Inter-Community Competition

Web Services Communities: From Intra-Community Coopetition to Inter-Community Competition

Zakaria Maamar (Zayed University, UAE), Philippe Thiran (University of Namur, Belgium) and Jamal Bentahar (Concordia University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-132-4.ch016
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This chapter discusses the structure and management of communities of Web services from two perspectives. The first perspective, called coopetition, shows the simultaneous cooperative and competitive behaviors that Web services exhibit when they reside in the same community. These Web services offer similar functionalities, and hence are competitive, but they can also cooperate as they share the same savoir-faire. The second perspective, called competition, shows the competition that occurs not between Web services but between their communities, which are associated with similar functionalities. To differentiate such communities, a competition model based on a set of metrics is discussed in this chapter.
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Some Definitions

Community. It means different things in different settings. In Longman Dictionary, community is ``a group of people living together and/or united by shared interests, religion, nationality, etc.’’. In the field of knowledge management, communities of practice constitute groups within (or sometimes across) organizations who share a common set of information needs or problems (Davies, 2003). Communities are not formal organizational units but networks with common interests and concerns. When it comes to Web services, Benatallah et al. define community as a collection of Web services with a common functionality although these Web services have distinct non-functional properties (Benatallah, 2003). Medjahed and Bouguettaya use community to provide an ontological organization of Web services sharing the same domain of interest (Medjahed, 2005). Medjahed and Atif use community to implement rule-based techniques for comparing context policies of Web services (Medjahed, 2007). Maamar et al. define community as a means to provide a description of a desired functionality without explicitly referring to any concrete Web service that will implement this functionality at run-time (Maamar et al., 2009). Finally, Wan et al. define communities of Web services as virtual spaces that can dynamically gather different Web services having complementary or related functionalities (Wan et al., 2010).

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