Monitoring Morphisms to Support Sustainable Interoperability of Enterprise Systems [chapter]

José Ferreira, Carlos Agostinho, João Sarraipa, Ricardo Jardim-Goncalves
2011 Lecture Notes in Computer Science  
Nowadays, organizations are required to be part of a global collaborative world. Sometimes this is the only way they can access new and wider markets, reaching new opportunities, skills and sharing assets, e.g. tools, lessons learnt. However, due to the different sources of enterprise models and semantics, organizations are experiencing difficulties in exchanging information electronically and seamlessly. To solve this issue, most of them try to attain interoperability by establishing
more » ... er mapping morphisms with different business partners, or in optimized networks use neutral data standards to regulate communications. Moreover, more and more enterprise systems are dynamic, looking forward to meet further requirements, causing new interoperability problems and efficiency reduction. This paper proposes a multiagent framework to monitor existing enterprise system networks, being capable of detecting morphism changes. An example from systems engineering is presented, where network harmonization breakings are timely detected, and possible solutions are suggested to regain the interoperable status, thus enhancing robustness for reaching sustainability of business networks. Keywords: Interoperability, Model Morphisms, Sustainable Interoperability, Multi Agent Systems, Model-Based Systems Engineering. integrated whole composed of diverse, specialized structures and sub-functions that aid in the development and life cycle (LC) of a product, using information and product models to describe and integrate the whole process [3] . In this sense, being defined as the ability that two or more systems have to exchange information and use it accurately [4], interoperability, namely the lack of it, could disturb the functionalities of the enterprise systems networks and decrease their competitiveness and innovation. When applications are used to manage the same or different models within a network, several types of costs could be incurred regarding interoperability, like translation or data re-entry for seamless information flows [5] . This situation has a direct impact in the business processes and SE practices that cross-cut these organizations (e.g. collaborative product development), since it is essential to have interoperable models and efficient data exchange for the integrated design, product breakdown (decomposition into parts) and manufacturing [6] . However, in our days, when achieved, this stability is hard to maintain since due to market requirements and the increasingly dynamicity of customer needs, business requirements are constantly being adapted, causing systems, models and semantics to change, thus leading to harmonization breaking and disruption of the interoperability in the enterprise systems networks [7] . As suggested by Agostinho et al. [5] , a possible solution for this problem relies on the modelling of data, semantic and structural mappings which enable interoperable relationships and cooperation, as traceable tuples, that, when integrated into knowledge bases dedicated to managing mismatches during communications, can be closely monitored and reactions to network evolutions triggered automatically. Based on this approach, this paper contributes proposing a new framework to support sustainable interoperability of systems, as introduced by Agostinho and Jardim-Goncalves on [7] . After present in sections 2 and 3 the state of the art in methods and technology for model-based engineering and model-morphisms, the paper proposes in section 4 a multi-agent system to monitor existing enterprise systems, being capable of detecting requirements for morphism evolutions and proposing proper adaptations to restore and reach interoperability on a collaborative network. Section 5 illustrates a SE case study to validate results. Finally in Section 6, the authors present conclusions. Model-Based Systems Engineering Model-based systems engineering (MBSE) is the formalized application of modelling to support the systems engineering processes, namely requirements, design, analysis, verification and validation activities, beginning at the conceptual design phase and continuing throughout development and later LC stages [8], [9] . Among the many ways to describe the LC of a product or a system, some are more focused on design and production, whilst others are centred on support. Recently, the disposal stages have also been carefully studied due to the impact in the environment [5], [10]. Fig. 1 illustrates a possible view, merging the development process, starting from the concept where the stakeholder's needs are identified until the disposal of the product, with some types of information models used in MBSE, namely [11]:
doi:10.1007/978-3-642-25126-9_15 fatcat:j3srt77u7nfr3cqprt4p5b3phu