AbstractsComputer Science

Policy-driven framework for manageable and adaptive service-oriented processes

by Abdelkarim Erradi

Institution: University of New South Wales
Department: Computer Science & Engineering
Year: 2008
Keywords: MASC Middleware; Manageable and Adaptive Web Services; Policy-Driven Framework for Web services management
Record ID: 1063761
Full text PDF: http://handle.unsw.edu.au/1959.4/41252


Dynamic selection and composition of autonomous and loosely-coupled Web services is increasingly used to automate business processes. The typical long-running characteristic of business processes imposes new management challenges such as dynamic adaptation of running process instances. However, current process orchestration engines provide limited flexibility to dynamically adapt to changing runtime conditions (e.g., presence of faults). Additionally, current process specification languages exhibit some limitations regarding modularity of crosscutting management concerns. In particular, monitoring and adaptation logic is often scattered across several process definitions and intertwined with the business logic. This leads to monolithic and complex processes that are hard to understand, reuse, maintain, and evolve. To address these limitations, we developed a policy-based change management framework, named Manageable and Adaptable Service Compositions (MASC), to declaratively express crosscutting monitoring and process adaptation concerns in a separate and modular way. MASC policies use a set of simple, but flexible and relatively powerful, constructs to declaratively specify policies that govern: (1) discovery and selection of services to be used, (2) monitoring to detect the need for adaptation, (3) reconfiguration and adaptation of the process to handle special cases (e.g., context-dependant behaviour) and recover from typical faults in service-based processes. The identified constructs are executed by a lightweight service-oriented management middleware named MASC middleware. The adaptation is transparent because it preserves the original functional behaviour of the business process and does not tangle the adaptation logic with that of the business process. Additionally, policies do not have to be necessarily defined when designing the process; they can also be introduced later during deployment or at runtime. We implemented a MASC proof-of-concept prototype and evaluated it on Stock Trading case study scenarios. We conducted extensive studies to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed techniques and illustrate the benefits of our approach in providing adaptive composite services using the policy-based approach. Our performance and scalability studies indicate that MASC middleware is scalable and the introduced overhead are acceptable.