University of Leicester
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VOML: Virtual Organization Modelling Language

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posted on 2012-08-16, 10:24 authored by Noor Jehan Rajper
Virtual organizations (VOs) and their breeding environments are an emerging approach for developing systems as a consortium of autonomous entities formed to share costs and resources, better respond to opportunities, achieve shorter time-to-market and exploit fast changing market opportunities. VOs cater for those demands by incorporating reconfigurations making VOs highly resilient and agile by design. Reconfiguration of systems is an active research area. Many policy and specification languages have been dedicated for the purpose. However, all these approaches consider reconfiguration of a system as somewhat isolated from its business and operational model; it is usually assumed that the latter two remain unaffected through such reconfigurations and the reconfiguration is usually limited to dynamic binding of components the system consists of. However the demands of VO reconfiguration go beyond dynamic binding and reach the level where it becomes crucial to keep changing the organizational structure (process model) of the system as well, which leads to changes of the operational/functional model. This continuous reconfiguration of the operational model emphasizes the need of a modelling language that allows specification and validation of such systems. This thesis approaches the problem of formal specification of VOs through the Virtual Organization Modelling Language (VOML) framework. The core of this framework are three languages each capturing a specific aspect. The first language named Virtual Organization Structural modelling language (VO-S), focuses on structural aspects and many of the characteristics particular to VOs such as relationship between the members expressed in domain terminology. The second language named VO Reconfiguration (VO-R for short), permits different reconfigurations on the structure of the VO. This language is an extension of APPEL for the domain of VOs. The third language named VO Operational modelling language (VO-O) describes the operational model of a VO in more details. This language is an adaptation and extension of the Sensoria Reference Modelling Language for service oriented architecture (SRML). Our framework models VOs using the VO-S and the VO-R which are at a high level of abstraction and independent of a specific computational model. Mapping rules provide guidelines to generate operational models, thus ensuring that the two models conform to each other. The usability and applicability of VOML is validated through two cases studies one of which offers travel itineraries as a VO service and is a running example. The other case study is an adaptation of a case study on developing a chemical plant from [14].



Reiff-Marganiec, Stephan; Fiadeiro, Jose

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University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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