Contractual Speci cations of Business Services: Modeling, Formalization and Proximity

Authors: Lam-Son Le, Trung-Viet Nguyen, Thai-Minh Truong, and Khuong Nguyen-An

Volume 31 (2017)


Business services arguably play a central role in service-based information systems as they would ll in the gap between the technicality of Service-Oriented Architecture and the business aspects captured in Enterprise Architecture. Business services have distinctive features that are not typically observed in Web services, e.g. signi ficant portions of the functionality of business services might be executed in a humanmediated fashion. The representation of business services requires that we view human activity and human-mediated functionality through the lens of computing and systems engineering. Contractually specifying a business service is crucial for the design and operationalization of business services from the service providers' point of view. In this article, we present an overarching modeling and formalization approach to the contractual speci cations of business services. First, business services are conceptually described from three different perspectives, giving rise to a list of service descriptors that matter most for the contractual speci - cations of services. Second, we formalize the service descriptors. Third, we devise a formal machinery to (a) verify if a group of services contractually match the speci cation of the bulkier service in question; (b) to assess the contractual proximity of service groups relative to a contractual service speci cation to help decide which combination of services from a catalog best realize the desired functionality.