Nianjun Zhou

IBM, Armonk, New York, United States

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Publications (15)2.62 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Compared with packaged application, custom application developments (CAD) experience the frustration of higher project overhead and less certainty. The typical time spent on building the infrastructure for a CAD project is, on average, several weeks. Project uncertainty comes from unique customer requirements and lack of standardized methods and toolsets to follow. Therefore, a CAD project is more difficult to achieve cost reduction and asset reuse. In this paper, we present a cloud platform to alleviate this problem through an integration of a) standard methods, b) standardized toolsets aligned with those methods, c) project management environments with pre-defined work breakdown structure (WBS) aligned with those methods and toolsets, and d) infrastructure support from the cloud technology. We believe that such a cloud platform will become a fundamental approach for large enterprises to develop CAD or other solutions for their clients.
    Services Computing (SCC), 2011 IEEE International Conference on; 08/2011
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    ABSTRACT: With the growing interest in cloud computing, more and more businesses are looking not only to migrate their applications to the cloud but also to transform them to better leverage capabilities that are provided by cloud platforms or to enable new business models that are facilitated by the cloud. One problem clients face in this area is a lack of experience and knowledge as to how best to accomplish this transformation. We propose a Cloud Transformation Advisor (CTA) which helps users to select appropriate enablement patterns from a knowledge base of best practices when performing transformation planning. This knowledge base uses a structured representation to capture application information, cloud platform capability information, and enablement pattern information in order to facilitate pattern selection. We describe this representation and a mathematical model which leverages it to choose the "best" combination of patterns for a given transformation problem. We present an example which illustrates the approach, and describe the usage of the CTA.
    IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing, CLOUD 2011, Washington, DC, USA, 4-9 July, 2011; 01/2011
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    ABSTRACT: Software architectures evolve over time, and so do the models that represent them. For a domain like Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) this is particularly true because most SOA solution designs are based on modification of existing assets that change over time. However, today there exists only limited work that reasons about this evolution. In this work we present our framework for traceability of evolving architectures that we apply for SOA solution design. Our design approach is based on an iterative process that utilizes a set of solution patterns to guide architects in the SOA solution design. Our approach utilizes historical data about pattern enablement and uses that to guide architects in selecting the right patterns. To ensure that the right patterns are used, we use a template matching approach that enforces conformance by allowing only the right set of artifacts to be composed together. We demonstrate how our framework can be applied to compose and trace evolving SOA solutions based on three views - the artifact view, profile view and compliance view.
    5th IEEE Asia-Pacific Services Computing Conference, APSCC 2010, 6-10 December 2010, Hangzhou, China, Proceedings; 01/2010
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we study legacy asset reuse for SOA design. Typically, the cost of reusing legacy assets is much lower than the cost of creating new services from scratch. As an extension of our SOA service modeling, we use top-down approaches to identify business services, and use asset modeling for legacy asset identification to find potential reusable assets for those services. Using service capacity analysis, we evaluate the maturity of a legacy asset for transformation to a service. Finally, we provide a model transformation to convert a service model with legacy assets into an SOA reference architecture model. Our effort integrates asset reuse as a part of the overall SOA design cycle and increases the possibility of asset reuse. To help architects use our method in engineering practice, we have implemented our method in the SOMA-ME tooling environment.
    2010 IEEE International Conference on Services Computing, SCC 2010, Miami, Florida, USA, July 5-10, 2010; 01/2010
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    Nianjun Zhou, A.A. Abouzeid
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    ABSTRACT: This paper considers basic bounds on the overhead of link-state protocols in mobile ad hoc networks. Hierarchical protocols are known for their good scalability properties, and hence this paper considers a two-level hierarchical protocol. In such protocols, nodes need to keep track of shortest path information, link states and cluster membership. Two types of overheads are considered; the memory needed to store routing-related information, including link-states and cluster membership, and the control messages that need to be exchanged to keep track of the changes in the network. Memory overhead is important practically for dimensioning network nodes, while message routing overhead is important since it reduces the effective capacity of the network to carry user data (vis-a-vis control data). The scalability properties of the message routing overhead are analyzed for different modes of network scaling. Practical implications, such as optimal cluster size, average/fixed memory requirement and routing protocol parameter selections are discussed.
    IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 11/2009; · 2.62 Impact Factor
  • Nianjun Zhou, Liang-Jie Zhang
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we present an architecture-centric assessment approach for model evaluation over reference architecture to quantitatively estimate architecture maturity and quality. Such assessment is essential to support design-level refinement for an enterprise solution. To achieve this analytic goal, we select a nine-layer SOA solution stack (S3) as reference architecture, and introduce the necessary mathematical definitions and formulation. The baseline for such assessment is a model template composed of S3 solution patterns. A template is the starting point of creating a design model. The selection of such template will largely determine the architecture properties of the final SOA solution.The maturity analysis is carried out at different granularity levels (architecture building block, architecture layer, and architecture model) to justify the 'completeness' of a design. The quality assessment is accomplished through a set of quality-indicators to justify the 'goodness' of an architecture based on the relationships of architecture building block instances. Finally, using UML 2.0 to capture the model of S3, we provide a real assessment prototype developed over IBM RSA platform.
    IEEE International Conference on Web Services, ICWS 2009, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 6-10 July 2009; 01/2009
  • Liang-Jie Zhang, Zhi-Hong Mao, Nianjun Zhou
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    ABSTRACT: This paper provides an artifact-pattern-matching framework and mathematical model to analyze the dynamic behaviors of the SOA solution design in model driven fashion and provide recommendations for optimal solution pattern enablement for solution artifacts. The artifact-pattern-matching system can be dynamically tuned based on the practitionerspsila final selections of there commendations. Specifically, we propose a set of solution patterns to guide SOA solution architects through the process of consuming and configuring SOA artifacts for composing SOA solutions. The resulting multi-dimensional cascading flagging method is also presented in this paper. As an example, impact analysis patterns are used as solution patterns to support traceability enablement. We present some future directions of leveraging reinforcement learning algorithms to enrich the design quality analytics of SOA solution.
    IEEE International Conference on Web Services, ICWS 2009, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 6-10 July 2009; 01/2009
  • Nianjun Zhou, Liang-Jie Zhang
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    ABSTRACT: Evolved from our engineering experience, this paper presents a mathematical framework to define and analyze an SOA (service-oriented architecture) model. SOA model, composed by design elements, is represented as directed graph based on graph theory. For each design element, two directed graphs are created to reflect the panoramic view and relationships of this design element with other design elements of same model, and used for impact and completion analysis of this design element. A numerical value called the relative importance indicator is computed to quantify the relationship between any two design elements. This indicator forms a matrix that is used as a base for more advanced analysis, such as model partition, model coupling, and variation-oriented design. Some future research directions such as model reduction are discussed at the end of this paper.
    Services Computing, 2008. SCC '08. IEEE International Conference on; 08/2008
  • Nianjun Zhou, Yi-Min Chee, Liang-Jie Zhang
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    ABSTRACT: The rapid adoption of model-driven design (MDD) methodology in SOA-based solution design requires an adaptive tooling environment that can systematically improve designers' productivity. Ideally, the environment should be flexible enough to both handle frequently changing requirements and support new features without intensive coding efforts. In this paper, we provide a coding-free enablement framework to realize such extensible tooling environments based on a mathematical abstraction of key models in SOA solution design using graph theory definition. This abstraction formalizes the SOA modeling logic and semantics, and also guides the implementation of an extensible and customizable tooling environment. As a case study, we illustrate how our framework is able to transform the development style from Java programming to text editing through our implementation of a UML 2.0 based SOA modeling environment using IBMpsilas Rational Software Architect (RSA) development platform.
    2008 IEEE International Conference on Web Services (ICWS 2008), September 23-26, 2008, Beijing, China; 01/2008
  • Nianjun Zhou, Richard Alimi
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    ABSTRACT: Client grid computing models based on participation of non-dedicated clients have been popular for computationally intensive tasks. Two fundamental requirements of these models are efficiency and accuracy. Common implementations use 1) checkpointing mechanisms for higher efficiency and 2) redundancy to achieve accurate results. In this paper, we formulate client grid computation using stochastic models and analyze the effects of checkpointing and redundancy in relation to performance. We first quantify the computation times required for a task with and without checkpointing, then the relationship between result accuracy and redundancy. Finally, we give a sensitivity analysis for parameters relating to client availability, checkpointing, and redundancy to provide guidelines on design and implementation of client grid systems.
    High Performance Computing and Communications, Second International Conference, HPCC 2006, Munich, Germany, September 13-15, 2006, Proceedings; 01/2006
  • WEBIST 2006, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies: Internet Technology / Web Interface and Applications, Setúbal, Portugal, April 11-13, 2006; 01/2006
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents a system for efficient data transformations between XML and relational databases, called XML Data Mediator (XDM). XDM enables the transformation by externalizing the specification of the mapping in a script and using an efficient run-time engine that automates the conversion task. The runtime engine is independent from the mapping script. A parser converts a mapping script into an internal conversion object. For the mapping from relational to XML, we use a tagging tree as a conversion object inside the runtime engine, and use an SQL outer-join scheme to combine multiple SQL queries in order to reduce the number of backend relational database accesses. For the mapping from XML to relational, the conversion object is a shredding tree, and we use an innovative algorithm to process the XML as a stream in order to achieve linear complexity with respect to the size of the XML document.
    05/2004;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents a system for efficient data transformations between XML and relational databases, called XML Data Mediator (XDM). XDM enables the transformation by externalizing the specification of the mapping in a script and using an efficient run-time engine that automates the conversion task. The runtime engine is independent from the mapping script. A parser converts a mapping script into an internal conversion object. For the mapping from relational to XML, we use a tagging tree as a conversion object inside the runtime engine, and use an SQL outer-join scheme to combine multiple SQL queries in order to reduce the number of backend relational database accesses. For the mapping from XML to relational, the conversion object is a shredding tree, and we use an innovative algorithm to process the XML as a stream in order to achieve linear complexity with respect to the size of the XML document.
    Proceedings of the 13th international conference on World Wide Web - Alternate Track Papers & Posters, WWW 2004, New York, NY, USA, May 17-20, 2004; 01/2004
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    ABSTRACT: This case study explores the evolution of the Franklin Content Management System, developed by IBM's Internet Technology Group. Franklin began as a technology-driven process to provide a web content management solution with the following goals: content reusability, simplified management of content and design that enforces integrity and consistency, the customization of content to individual users, and the delivery of content to a variety of display devices.These goals were met in part by the decomposition of information into reusable fragments represented in XML. This approach provides unique opportunities in a content management system. However, it also raises some interesting challenges in the deployment of such a tool and the education of its users.The development of Franklin evolved over a two year period and has culminated in the deployment of 62 country portals within the ibm.com domain. Furthermore, concepts from the Franklin project are influencing the strategy and design of IBM offerings.
    04/2002;
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    ABSTRACT: E-commerce presupposes dynamic and personalized presentation of information. In order to support an effective e-commerce environment, content on the Internet must be flexible and reusable. These characteristics can be supported if content on the Internet is highly modularized and richly tagged. We propose to use XML as the framework upon which to build a web content management system that supports these features. However, the design of such a system, where content is highly modularized and reusable, creates new challenges that have to be addressed. These challenges include finding relevant information fragments on demand, keeping track of the dependencies between fragments, transforming combinations of those fragments into viewable pages available to multiple device types, and designing a content creation tool that does not overwhelm the contributor with the details and the complexities of the underlying system. In this paper we describe these challenges and the solutions that we developed in the design of a web content management system based on XML, code-named Franklin.