Conference Paper

Contract Enactment in Virtual Organizations: A Commitment-Based Approach.

Conference: Proceedings, The Twenty-First National Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the Eighteenth Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference, July 16-20, 2006, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Source: DBLP


A virtual organization (VO) isa dynamic collection of entities (individuals, enterprises, and information resources) collabo- rating on some computational activity. VOs are an emerging means to model, enact, and manage large-scale computations. VOs consist of autonomous, heterogeneous members, often dynamic exhibiting complex behaviors. Thus, VOs are best modeled via multiagent systems. An agent can be an indi- vidual such as a person, business partner, or a resource. An agent may also be a VO. A VO is an agent that comprises other agents. Contracts provide a natural arms-length abstraction for mod- eling interaction among autonomous and heterogeneous agents. The interplay of contracts and VOs is the subject of this paper. The core of this paper is an approach to formalize VOs and contracts based on commitments. Our main contributions are (1) a formalization of VOs, (2) a discussion of certain key properties of VOs, and (3) an iden- tification of a variety of VO structures and an analysis of how they support contract enactment. We evaluate our approach with an analysis of several scenarios involving the handling of exceptions and conflicts in contracts.

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    • "Briefly, a B2B 42 application is a set of business processes that make disparate 43 autonomous entities (e.g., departments, businesses) collaborate to 44 achieve a common set of goals. Despite the abundance of initiatives 45 on B2B applications [15] [19] [26] [28], not much exist in terms of mod- 46 eling and deploying such applications from the perspective of using 47 intelligent and argumentative agents. By modeling, we mean iden- 48 tifying all the necessary components that connect assets of inde- 49 pendent entities that are engaged in a B2B scenario. "
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    • "The challenge of implementing using policies is not about what the policies are, but where they are placed and the vocabulary of interactions and relationships to which they apply. Our approach is centered on the notion of agents: computational entities that model autonomous, heterogeneous, and dynamic entities [7]. Orgs are multiagent systems, each individual and Org being modeled (recursively) as an agent. "
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    ABSTRACT: Service engagements arise commonly in business and scientific computing. A service engagement is characterized by autonomous parties coming together in a contractual arrangement to share resources or carry out tasks for one another. Recent work shows how to model service engagements in an interactive manner and at a high level. This work formalizes the atoms of a service engagement as commitments among the participants, to be created and manipulated as the engagement progresses. Further, it scopes the commitments of an engagement in a (virtual) organization, and specifies how the policies of the participants affect their interactions. This paper contributes design patterns for service engagements formulated in terms of roles, commitments, and allied concepts. Each pattern reflects a distinct element of a service engagement from a business perspective and highlights exactly where policies apply. This enables the perspicuous, reusable specification of service engagements.
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