iiWAS2006 Keynotes

Gabriele Kotsis
Institut für Telekooperation
Johannes Kepler University Linz
Altenberger Strasse 69, 4040 Linz, Austria


The past decades enabled us with (nearly) world wide access to the internet using a variety of underlying wireless and wired network technologies providing high speed data rates. Availability, high throughput, high bitrates, low packet loss ratios have been driving factors in network design and management. Various concepts for supporting quality of service (QoS) have been proposed. But are we really looking at the right parameters in QoS? Does this actually enable us to retrieve the information we are looking for in a fast and easy way? Does this allow us to communicate with each other more efficiently? Can we have easy and convenient access to computational resources where and when needed? Do we have confidence in the information we find? Do we feel safe when working online?

In this talk, we argue for user-oriented QoS concepts going beyond the traditional concepts well understood in performance evaluation. QoS in a broader sense needs to better reflect what users are actually planning to do, and has to consider user needs and objectives from a more application and task oriented view rather than from the pure technical point of view. Recent research work is addressing the concept of user-perceived QoS but much more efforts are needed in this direction. New QoS parameters and measures need to be introduced assessing performance in a user understandable way. Such parameters have to go beyond time and accomplished work per time as units of measures and have to consider user satisfaction at higher levels. Aspects from other disciplines such as usability engineering, security, but also semantic systems have to be integrated. New parameters also require new techniques for characterizing and modeling user behavior and the mappings on computer and network resource usage. New computing environments characterized by a highly dynamic and changing infrastructure (such as pervasive computing environments, sensor networks, mobile computing infrastructures) also put new challenges for modeling, analysis and management techniques. The objective of this talk is to outline the associated research challenges and to give an overview on existing solutions and approaches towards user perceived quality of service concepts.

Gabriele Kotsis

Univ. Prof. Mag. Dr. Gabriele Kotsis - Prof. Kotsis received her master degree in 1991 (honoured with the Award of the Austrian Computer Society), her PhD in 1995 (honoured with the Heinz-Zemanek Preis) and?the venia docendi in 2000 (computer science, from the University of Vienna). She was working as a researcher and teacher at the University of Vienna (1991-2001), at the Vienna University for Economics and Business Administration (2001) and at the Copenhagen Business School (2002). Since December 2002 she is holding a full professor position at the Telecooperation Department at the Johannes Kepler University Linz. Her research interests include performance management of computer systems and networks, workgroup computing, mobile and Internet computing, telemedia and telecooperation. She has experience in national and international research project in those areas, including for example the EU-funded international BISANTE project on network traffic modelling and simulation, where she was technical leader, or the EMMUS project on Multimedia Usability where she was project coordinator. Gabriele is author of numerous publications in international conferences and journals and is co-editor of several books. She is member of IEEE and ACM and acting president of the AustrianComputer Society. She is actively participating in the organization of international conferences.

Digital Ecosystems : A Next Generation of Collaboration Environment for the Digital Networked Economy
Centre for Extended Enterprise and Business Intelligence
Curtin Business School
Curtin University of Technology
Western Australia 6845
{elizabeth.chang, martin.west}@cbs.curtin.edu.au

Elizabeth ChangMartin West


Digital ecosystems transcend the traditional rigorously defined collaborative environments from centralised, or distributed or hybrid models into an open, flexible, domain cluster, demand-driven interactive environment. A digital ecosystem is new-networked architecture and collaborative environment that addresses the weakness of client-server, peer-to-peer, Grid and web services.

Similar to an ecological system environment, we consider a digital ecosystem consisting of species analogous to biological species, which create and conserve resources that humans find valuable. The software, databases, applications or software services in digital ecosystems are referred to as digital species. Economic species, in analogy with biological species, can be business entities, which together form a dynamic and interrelated complex ecosystem. The complex ecosystem is defined as a composition of mixed multiform, heterogeneous entities participating in a digital domain and carrying out cross multi-disciplinary interaction and engagement.

A Domain is defined as a specific cluster or colony or field where participants have something in common, such as ocean habitats in coral reef in the biological sphere. Cross multi-disciplinary interaction and engagement is defined as inter-disciplinary interaction, such as coral polyps, tiny animals that live in colonies and together they interact with nudibranchs, fish (such as snapper, clown fish), turtles, sea snakes, snails and molluscs, they together live in warm, open, clear, shallow waters. Sometimes, they work together to defend threats from human interference, pollution, or natural disaster. Similarly, a digital ecosystem is an open, flexible loosely coupled, domain clustered, demand driven collaborative environment where each digital species is proactive and responsive for its own safety and security while contributing to the welfare of the ecosystem. "open" is defined as a free transparent environment, where everyone is invited to join except dangerous species that have the intention of causing damage to the community. "flexible" is defined as an easy, tolerable and adaptable environment, with strength to survive peacefully. For example, if coral polyps die, they become a stony, branching structure as part of a reef and can still provide shelter generation after generation. "Loosely coupled" is defined as a freely bound open relationship between participants or entities within a virtual community. This term is opposite to the tightly coupled relationship, where each party is heavily dependent on one another and the roles are pre-defined. Participant is an entity who wants to join a group or an environment or a community based on its own interest. "Domain clustered" is a colony or a field where participants have something in common or share the same life or interests, such as ocean habitats in Coral Reef or exotic tropical plants in a Rainforest Ecosystem. "Demand driven" is defined as the driving force coming from outside ´push-in´ rather than ´pull-in´.

Several factors characterise a digital ecosystem; namely: it has a strong information infrastructure that extends beyond the original closed walls of the individual organisation. It is a domain-oriented cluster, which forms an interactive community that attracts similar digital species, which challenge and support each other to survive; it contains rich resources that can offer cost-effective digital services and value-creating activities for the participants. It utilises new forms of electronic interaction, through the provision of digital services, it carries high connectivity and electronic handling of information of all sorts including data and documents. In addition, it offers multiple channels for buying and selling of services, captures and utilises business intelligence from data, documents and other agents and has smart information use. It is also an integration of business and human endeavours and advanced information systems within the digital ecosystem, it facilitates close interaction between participants and cross fertilisation and nourishes each other and supports different needs within the digital ecosystem and between different digital ecosystems. It is a cross-disciplinary interaction and engagement, which offers a mix of expertise that preserves and enhances productivity, prosperity and international competitiveness. There is an underlying knowledge base available to support information communication that enables shared understanding of concepts. Ecosystem participants or agents are autonomous, highly interrelated and dynamic and able to coordinate among themselves, it is a self-organising digital infrastructure aimed at creating a digital environment for networked organisations that support cooperation, knowledge sharing, and development of open and adaptive technologies? and ´evolutionary domain knowledge rich environments´.

It is noted that the European Union defined digital ecosystems as a new initiative and announced ´Innovation Ecosystem Initiative´ as part of the European Seventh Framework Proposal and part of the i2010 initiative (http://www.digital-ecosystems.org). It is also noted that an inaugural IEEE International Conference on Digital ecosystems and Technology to be held in Cairns, Australia in February 2007 (www.IEEE-DEST.curtin.edu.au).

In this keynote talk, we will give an introduction of Digital Ecosystems, it architecture, components, and demand driven communication framework as well as detailed comparison and contrasts of the digital ecosystem with other existing collaborative environments (Client-Server, P2P, Grid and Web Services). We will also give the vision of digital ecosystems over the next 2-5 years and their impact on collaboration, growth, prosperity and international competitiveness.

Elizabeth Chang

Professor Chang´s is a Professor of IT and Software Engineering. She is the Director for the Centre Extended Enterprise and Business Intelligence (CEEBI) and Area Research Excellence for Frontier Technologies. She has over 200 scientific publications including books, journals and conference papers and numerous invited Keynote papers at International Conferences. All her research and development work are in the area of frontier technologies and application to industrial informatics, business intelligence, education and health informatics. Her key research areas include issues related to the process of producing an IT application, methodologies, e-services, trust management, XML and Ontology,etc

Martin West

Martin West is an Associate Professor in the School of Information Systems, Curtin University of Technology. His research interests include supply-chain, logistics informatics, business intelligence, and Digital Ecosystems and its impact to the e-business and social economic environment. He has published in a number of journals including International Journal of Business Information Systems, International Journal of Business Innovation and Research and the Journal of Studies in Economics and Econometrics.

R. Wagner and A. Langegger
Institute for Applied Knowledge Processing
Johannes Kepler University Linz
A-4040 Linz, Altenberger Straße 69, Austria

R. WagnerA. Langegger


Since the advent of electronic commerce and electronic data interchange (EDI), semantics of data have always been an issue. While early systems used proprietary interfaces to share data, standards like CORBA or Web services could partly solve the protocol issue. However, the impedance mismatch is not completely solved until the semantic gap can be eliminated. While the XML family of standards enabled the translation of data based on syntactic rules (XSLT), the Semantic Web approach is about adding semantics to data. Many research work is currently undertaken addressing a range of issues. Semantic data representation, ontology development, querying semantic data, mapping and merging ontologies, translation of data between different ontologies, as well as Semantic Web services are only a few areas of current research. Even the industry has begun to apply ontologies to manage and share data. Because many people are uncertain about the possibilities and benefits of ontologies especially concerning electronic data integration, this invited talk will give an overview of chances and existing misconceptions. Expectations and potentialities will be opposed while putting the focus on semantic data integration.

Roland Wagner

Roland Wagner is a Professor for Information Systems at the Johannes Kepler University of Linz. He is director of the Research Institute of Applied Knowledge Processing (FAW) and director of the Institute Integrated Studies ("integriert studieren"). He is managing various industrial and research projects in the areas of information systems, knowledge-based systems, electronic commerce and eAccessibility. He is teaching in the area of Information Systems and his current research interests are new database developments, object oriented database environment, data mining, data warehouses, and eAccessibilty.

Andreas Langegger

Andreas Langegger is scientific assistant at the Institute of Applied Knowledge Processing, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria. He studied "Media technology and -design" at the Upper Austrian University of Applied Sciences, where he is also holding lessons. Currently he is doing research in the fields of Grid computing, Semantic Web and Web engineering. In 2005 he has started working for his PhD at the Johannes Kepler University Linz.