Time- and Location-constrained Composition of Human-performed Services: a Case in Voluntary Health Care / Global Software Development

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About Time- and Location-constrained Composition of Human-performed Services: a Case in Voluntary Health Care / Global Software Development

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Description

The key to success in a globalized and networked economy is to continuously (re-)combine the necessary competencies provided by multiple parties that can answer to quickly changing and highly variable customer needs, thereby different parties are "co-creating" value for themselves and for others. A service is the application of such a competency. More than 80% of global businesses modularize their competencies and offer them as reusable service components that can be applied in many different value creation contexts. As a result value creation interactions between services tend to take the form of a webs/networks, rather than a sequence/chain. One of the challenges is that services, as opposed to goods, have no physical embodiment or fixed value that is determined by the transaction. They are knowledge-intensive and intangible; hence it is difficult to describe them digitally. Moreover, they are reproducable with almost no marginal cost. The assessment of their value is based on the accumulated value-in-use.

Service value network (SVN) approaches aim to tackle the intangible nature, high variability and value assessment of services by providing advanced ICT support to (i) match needs with business competencies (offered through services), and (ii) compose profitable and sustainable service bundles. These SVN approaches are based on semantic considerations, including several business and technical constraints. Yet so far not much account is taken for service whose applicability is constrained by time and/or location.

For example, consider the composition of bundles of assisted-living services that aim to increase the quality of life of disabled people. These services are partly executed by voluntary caretakers that have limited time available and should be co-located with the patient's home. Moreover, some services such as providing lunch are only meaningful during specific hours of the day. Another case study is global software development, where global teams with a common goal, that is, the development and testing of a set of related software artifacts have to be assembled. In this case developers and testers are represented by services that providing certain competencies. Here also the service composition relies on time and location. E.g., one could require that artifacts with many dependencies should be developed by developers that are co-located, while at the same time, one can take advantage from the global setting to maximize continuity in production.

In this thesis, you will (1) revisit the e3service library of ontologies for e-commerce and extend it with a notion of time and location constraints. Therefore you dig into literature of related time and location ontologies; but also literature on human-performed services and location- or time-based service composition algorithms. Next, (2) you will implement for either one of the case studies described above an extension to the current service composition algorithms in e3service taking into account these time and location constraints.